Whether you're a wedding guest, a bridesmaid, or the bride herself, choosing a pair of shoes that will allow you to dance the night away in style is crucial!
We've all been there- your feet are swollen, you've got blisters, and you've just kicked those amazing 4inch killers off under the table for a quick break when your favorite song comes on. You just can't seem to force your aching feet back into those bad boys, so you either sit this one out as you watch your friends tear up the dance floor, or you [gasp!] go barefoot. It's a conundrum for the ages!
Recent bridal trends have shown girls wearing Converse sneakers, or cowboy boots, which often allow them to stay comfortable throughout the night, but if those two options just aren't up your alley (we feel your pain, they're just not in our personal repertoire either!) and you're searching for another option, we're here to help. We questioned friends, former brides, brides-to-be, and even raided our own closets for some of our go-to pairs, brands, and even tricks to help your feet stay stylish but comfortable all night long!
Heading to a wedding this spring or summer and want to keep your footwear more on the casual/beachy side of things? Here are three of our favorites! ( L to R: Lilly Pulitzer, Jack Rogers, Lindsay Phillips) For the girl who truly relies on a flip-flop for comfort, take it a notch up with these Lindsay Phillips SwitchFlops which feature interchangeable "charms" in every color and style you can imagine! Every pair comes with your first set included, and then you can buy charms alone to match any outfit! She also features clutch purses and other accessories that the charms will fit on, so you'll see the options are quite literally limitless!
For less than ~$100, you can have any of these wonderfully versatile nude options that will match with just about any outfit you can imagine without breaking the bank or giving yourself blisters! (L to R: Naturalizer, Steve Madden, Life Stride) The two pairs of heels have a ton of specially designed padding and support so you can have the lift of a heel but the comfort of the flat.
These Steve Madden flats are the perfect shoes to keep your outfit looking pretty and polished if you just can't imagine yourself in heels. They're also a fabulous backup pair to keep on hand. Are you a bride who wants your bridesmaids in heels for pictures, but cringes at the thought of them having to ditch those heels and go barefoot once the party starts? A nice pair of nude or metallic (or even in one of your wedding colors!) flats is a FANTASTIC gift to give them. That way, you know they'll be comfortable, but won't have to worry about getting their toes stepped on while they do the Wobble.
Working our way up in price just a bit (though still staying under approximately $200) will give you a bit more of a substantial shoe that you can (and likely, will!) wear again, and again (L to R Alex Anni, Ivanka Trump). One of our favorite brands in this category is Ivanka Trump. Many of her shoes were designed with the working woman in mind, so both of our cofounders have several of her pairs in their closet. Those two ladies LIVE in heels, but you can only tour so many venues before your toes begin to suffer. These shoes were designed for women who are not simply entering a party to pose for a picture and then take her seat, but rather spend her day getting things done. As planners, we spend the entire wedding day on our feet as well, so we can attest to the fact that these are some solid shoes that will not let you down!
Finally, if you want a really special pair for your wedding day, or are simply looking to invest in a high-end pair of heels, the two brands we would personally endorse above all others are Jimmy Choo and Manolo Blahnik. Co-founder, Carrie, swears by her small collection of Jimmy Choos. She has them in three neutral shades that allow her to pair them with just about any outfit. With a heel of just about 2", they don't put your foot at a severe angle, but they still give you the formality that you're looking for. They're really the next best thing to a flip-flop! One word of caution; if you're looking into buying your first pair of these bad boys, find a retailer who carries them. We've found that some styles are cut rather narrow, and if there's one thing that will get in the way of a shoe being comfortable, it's starting off with a cut that just doesn't work for your foot, so skip the online shopping with this brand!
Ever wonder how Carrie Bradshaw managed to stomp around NYC on those sky high Manolo Blahniks without needing a foot transplant?! Here's the secret! See that tiny bit of elastic at the back of the shoe? Manolos famously have this small but crucial feature in their heels. They keep your foot in place and prevent slipping, which is the biggest reason behind blisters! We can't say that Manolos are for the feint of heart, or the best choice for ladies who are not used to wearing heels, as they don't feature some of the amazing inserts, padding, and support that several previous pairs we've featured do, BUT for the girl who knows how to rock a good pair of heels, these will help you go that extra mile and keep those pedicured feet looking and feeling great!
One final tip that we like to share with our brides: You pay a lot of money when you're making alterations to your dress, so you'll be making the decision on what shoes to wear fairly early in the process so the seamstress knows exactly where that beautiful gown should fall. If you don't want to jump right into flats, but worry about your dress being too long if you can't last in them all night, here's a bit of advice! Co-founder, Amanda (pictured above!) practically lives in heels. However, she knew that her wedding day was not one that she would want to try out a pair of sky high stilettos. Instead, she opted for a sensible heel height (about 2.5-3") and then put on her thinking cap in terms of her backup pair. She knew that even the smallest heel could get uncomfortable after 10+ hours of wear, and because her shoes were custom, they didn't feature a ton of extra support, so she faced the very realistic possibility that she wouldn't make it through the whole night. How, then, would she keep her dress from pooling in front of her, causing her to trip, or damage her dress? She found a pair of platform sandals. Yes, we're talking 1990s, Spice Girls style platforms. Not to that extent of course, but there is a distinct different between a platform and a wedge, and that distinction is the angle of the foot. She knew that if she could find a platform where her foot was almost essentially flat, she could keep the height she needed, while giving her feet some MUCH needed relief! They may be tricky to find, but the key is to search for a shoe with a chunky base not only in the back, but also in the front. Even if they're not a TRUE platform where your foot is flat, decreasing the angle (and therefore, pressure on the ball of your foot) is the key element when searching. Find one in a comparable height to your dream shoes. Trust us, you will be SO glad you did!