Dress Shoes

Comfortable Dress Shoes for Every Occasion

There comes a time in every person's life when it's necessary to exchange your comfy old sneakers for the stiffness of those dress shoes in the back of your closet. Maybe your cousin's getting married, or Great Uncle Claude passed away and you need to pay your respects. For some of us, dress shoes are a daily necessity at our jobs, comfortable shoes being one of the things we've chosen to sacrifice for our chance to climb the corporate ladder and make the big bucks.

Sometimes it's hard to understand how some people, like televangelists and CEOs, could look so comfortable in their dress shoes, which they would no more appear in public without than their toupees. It's because they've learned a simple secret, one that we're willing to share with you right here for free. The truth is, dress shoes don't have to be uncomfortable.

How's that again?

OK, so maybe that wasn't an earth-shattering revelation, but it's a fact people often overlook. We expect new formal shoes of every stripe to be uncomfortable, and many of us dread going through that period of blisters and near-crippling that we have to endure in order to "break in" our new shoes. Here's a news flash: you don't have to develop calluses on your heels and ankles in order to wear a pair of good dress shoes without cringing. You just have to shop a little more carefully. You might even have to spend a little more money than normal to get the comfort you need, so put off that trip to Bubba's Discount Shoe Barn.

Let's start with the common sense stuff. Don't be in a hurry to buy dress shoes, whether they're for office use or for your own wedding. While some people (especially men) don't like to spend any more time than they have to in a store, this is one time you should make an exception. One of the mistakes many people make is to assume that because they wear a certain size in one type of shoe, they can buy dress shoes in that size and expect to be comfortable. It ain't necessarily so. You need to spend the time necessary to ensure that your shoes fit properly. They need to be snug, but not too tight, especially across the top of your feet at mid-sole. You should be able to move your toes freely. Walk around with both shoes on; if they rub anywhere, put them aside and try the next pair. A final warning: ditch the high heels. If you need to be active, high heels will not only slow you down; plus, they can cause you severe pain in the feet, ankles, legs, hips, and back.

For what it's worth

One thing that you'll have to accept is the fact that truly comfortable dress shoes are expensive. Not only are they made of high-quality materials that last a long time, a lot of work has gone into making them as comfortable as they can possibly be, so expect to pay in excess of $100 for a good pair. That may seem excessive, since you can get a pair of dress shoes for $20 at the Shoe Barn; but unless you have corns of steel and don't mind buying three pairs of el cheapos for every pair of Bostonians, the more expensive option will be worth every dime. Not only that, quality dress shoes are repairable (which is more than can be said for most cheap shoes), so they'll last that much longer.

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