I do most of my shopping online, including shoe purchases.  My biggest challenge is that I’m often distracted by social media trends, which are much different from what I need in reality.  As much as I love clear shoes, white boots, and sculpted heels, one word deters me from buying them.  Ouch.  Our gravel driveway,  muddy farmyard, and long shopping trips would wreck these shoes, or my feet, or both.  Thankfully, there’s another style of shoe that is still in style and probably always will be: the oh-so-comfortable, wear-with-anything, perfect-for-a-busy-mom, sneaker.  

Pink sneakers, floral bag, gray jeans, pink blouse

Sneaker Trends For Spring 2018 

The biggest (literally and metaphorically) comfort shoe this spring is the “grandpa sneaker“.  It’s the lace-up, chunky soled sneaker that was popular in the nineties.  Also, known as the “ugly shoe”,  (as were crocs, Birkenstocks, and UGGs), these sneakers have hugged the feet of celebrities and models.  They’ve been paired with dresses, skirts, suits as well as casual-wear.  If you’re doubting the resurgence of this trend, check out Balenciaga’s collection.  For a more affordable version, try Nike’s Air Max 95 SE.  

For a  slimmer shoe, there’s also the sock-sneaker trend.  Zara carries a very affordable hightop which is adorned with jewels so you can also check off the casual-with-luxury trend from your style set.  I did end up buying a version of this style; the Fitflop F-Sporty Uberknit, a slip-on with faux laces that makes my life a bit easier when I have to race out of the door with my hands full.  

If it doesn’t make you feel as if you raided your daughter’s closet, you may want a glitter sneaker.  I bought a SeaVees pink glitter sneaker which, despite its name, is a subtle peach color rather.   Keds and Kate Spade have paired up to create an entire line of glitter sneakers in a variety of colors. 

Finally, if you want to be a trendsetter yourself, you can always design your own sneaker at Vans.com.  Pick one of 6 styles, upload your artwork (or choose from their patterns/colors) and order.  2-4 weeks later, you will be walking in style.  

Minimize Returns

So how do you shop for shoes online,  minimize returns and maximize wear?  

Pick a retailer with free or easy returns.  Zappos gives you free shipping and 365 days to return unworn shoes.  Parent brand, Amazon offers free shipping and returns on select items, if you are a Prime member.  Amazon has also introduced Prime Wardrobe which allows you to order 3-8 pieces, try them on at home (for up to 7 days) and then pay for what you keep.  They provide a prepaid box for you to return what you don’t want.  

Shop online, return in-store.  If return shopping is not pre-paid, I look for online retailers that have brick-and-mortar stores at my local mall.  For example, my Anthropologie does not carry shoes, but I know if I order from them online, I can return them to the store next time I’m there.  

Read reviews.  Shoe sizes vary from brand to brand, so read reviews and ask customer service, if you are unsure of whether a show runs small, large or TTS (true to size).  Reviewers may also often tell you how comfortable the shoes are, and if you’re lucky, they’ll write the review after they’ve worn them for a while.  

If The Shoe Fits…

After a trip to the running store, I realized that right shoes can make all the difference.  For a few weeks, I had been experiencing knee pain and chalked it up to old age (okay, I’m really not that old) but once I switched to my new shoes, the pain went away.  Here are a few tips that might help you find the right shoes. 

 Try them on in the late afternoon.  Our feet swell as we walk around during the day, so shoes that feel comfortable in the morning, may feel tight later on.  I like to wear my most comfortable shoes before I try on the new pairs so that I have a good point of comparison.  

Most of us are asymmetric, so make sure your new shoes are comfortable for your larger foot.  

Leave about a 1/2″ of space in front of your big toe, when you are standing in your shoes.  

Walk in the shoes for as long as you can before deciding whether they are comfortable.

Pick shoes with arch support, rather than ones that are completely flat.   

Do you have a favorite sneaker?  Feel free to comment below, or drop me a line at fashionipa@gmail.com.  If you’d like to be the first to know about my next post, please sign-up for my e-mail list.  Until next time, think happy feet! 




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