I’m still wondering what possessed me—last week—to pair that gorgeous, Whistle River, black lace skirt with a pair of kitten heels that hurt my feet. Probably because I still long for the days when I wore heels with almost everything. But kitten heels? Two years ago I was embarrassed to be seen in kitten heels. Now I can’t handle them for more than a few minutes.
When it comes to the evils of aging, I rank painful feet up there with saggy jowls, thinning hair and a vagina as dry as granny’s drawers.
As part of my continuing series on Building an Over 50 Wardrobe, let’s look at one of the fundamentals of every wardrobe… Smart, comfortable footwear.
I was never one of those women who went crazy over shoes, purses or jewelry. Just cameras… What can I say? Something must be wrong with my DNA, but I’m working on it. As long as I have the basics, I’m happy.
Here are the different types of comfortable footwear that will go with most anything in your closet
…and a cautionary tale.
A pair of black flats and a pair of leopard flats will take you most anywhere. Leopard is the new neutral and looks great with almost anything, plus it gives you that certain “Je ne sais quoi.” That certain something. In the shoes below I’ve also included a dressy pair of flats with a crystal brooch. THEY’RE GORGEOUS!
Ballet flats are very Audrey—and men think they’re sexy—but let’s not forget loafers. I particularly like these Paul Green Uptown Loafers. BTW, Paul Green is on my list of comfortable shoe brands, provided by all of you, dear readers. In case you missed the list, here it is again.
When buying flats make sure you have a comfortable toe box. That means no pointy toes unless you want to signup for hammertoes. As we get older mules or slip ons also cause hammertoes and get harder to wear and make us less stable on our feet, because they force our toes to curl and grip in order to keep them on.
Ankle boots are so versatile. A comfortable pair of black ankle boots and a neutral pair, like tan, is all you need. They can be suede, leather or sporty lace ups, and if you’re not comfortable in heels, try one of the great flat boots, moto boots or ones with block heels.
I’ll leave it up to you whether you want taller boots that reach your shins or up to your knees. Taller boots—especially when worn with leggings and pants tucked inside— “dissect” our figures at what can be unflattering places… especially if you don’t have long legs. In other words, not everyone looks good in tall boots.
It took my design eye a little while to adjust, but I think sneakers with thick, white soles look great with almost everything. The key is what color sneakers you wear. I think we all need three pairs of sneakers: blush, silver and black. These should cover everything from summer to winter, casual and dressy. Yes, even dressy!
Sandals don’t offer your feet much support, and flip flops are about the worst thing you can do to your feet. Even if you’re wearing thick-soled flip flops, don’t make them your primary footwear.
Like mules, sandals that have just a band across the top of the foot can cause hammertoes because they force our toes to curl and grip in order to keep them on.
ANOTHER SHOE CAUTION
If you have hip, knee, back and/or balance issues, wearing flip flops and sandals can be dangerous on uneven terrain. The toe end of a girlfriend’s thick-soled, flip flops got caught on the ancient cobblestone streets of Florence, and she did a face plant onto the stone. With blood everywhere, front teeth in hand, two ambulance rides and two hospitals later… She also discovered she had a broken jaw. Not a great way to start off an Italian vacation!