Style notes: How to compare women's shoes online
When it comes to shoes, it’s true that a girl can never have too many pairs; it’s just something the male species will never understand! Here at Cafe La Moda we totally understand your obsession, which is why we've searched high and low to find you the best online deals on a huge range of women’s shoes, from cheap and cheerful high street numbers to the best designer fashion footwear.
With so many styles to choose from we thought you might like a little helping hand in narrowing down your search for your perfect pair. We've put together some tips and tricks to finding the best women’s shoes to fit the occasion (well, for the minute - until you need the next pair!).
Women's shoes: styles
1. Boots – Boots come in a huge varuety of styles, from ankle boots to midi (half way up the shin) and knee high boots. Some varieties will have a heel that is distinguishable from the rest of the shoe whilst others may be flat or in a wedge style. Traditionally boots were made from leather or faux leather but can now be found in a whole host of fabrics and materials to suit your style and budget. Boots can vary hugely in price so be sure to compare before you buy to get the best boots to suit your budget.
2. Pumps – Pumps are heeled shoes that tend to be low cut at the front with no fastening, although some may have an ankle straps. Pumps are seen as the go-to for women wanting to look formal and chic from boardroom to bar. These are definitely a must have essential for all women.
3. Derbys, Oxfords and Brogues – Once the reserve of men, Derbys, Oxfords and Brogues have been adopted by women as an easy-to-wear shoe that instantly adds an edge to an outfit. All three styles are all very similar in that they are lace-up shoes that tend to have a small, solid heel, though many are now flat and made from soft, unstructured material. They are traditionally worn formally, but have been adopted into modern day casual wear.
4. Kitten heels – Kitten heels feature a thin and very low heel, of around an inch or so - they are the baby of the stiletto family. Kitten heels tends to be particularly popular with women who are blessed with height and want the glamour oh a heel without too many extra inches.
5. Loafers – Loafers are slip-on shoes without laces. They tend to be worn casually but can also be found for more formal occasions.
6. Moccasins – Moccasins are having a moment after a huge revival in recent seasons. Traditionally a soft boot made of deer skin they're now created from synthetic and suede fabrics. Moccasins typically have no heel and feature embroidery and beading.
7. Platforms – Shoes with a platform tend to feature a medium to high heel with a platform at the front. Platforms have an added section underneath the toes to allow the heel to be higher while still giving the foot a little more support. Sometimes the platform will be concealed within the shoe but usually it will be visible.
8. Sandals – A summer must have. Sandals can have a heel but they tend to be flat. Flip-flops and thong-sandals are a popular summer style and are perfect worn on the beach. Sandals are easy to wear and style and are perfect for hot days and balmy summer nights. What's even better, they take up minimal room in your suitcase meaning more room for bikinis - yay!
9. Wedges – Wedges are a style that have the heel attached to the rest of the shoe. These are great if (like us) you like to stay comfy on a night out and avoid that horrible burning pain you get from stilettos and platforms
Online shopping guide: heel heights
You might be thinking, “How high is a low heel?” If so don’t panic, here are a few extra handy hints to make things a little clearer. According to the top fashion shoe designers, heel heights are defined as follows:
- Low heels: Less than 2.5 inches
- Midi heels: Between 2.5 inches and 3.5 inches
- High heels: More than 3.5 inches
Women’s shoes online sizing
Shoe sizes can vary significantly between manufacturers so it's always best in the first instance to look on a retailer's website for guidance about their shoe sizes and to check out any shoe conversion charts.
For a general guide to women's shoe sizes simply take a look at the table below. It is also really useful to keep in mind this conversion chart if you are going to be traveling outside of the UK
Walking in heels?
Unfortunately, wearing beautiful heels comes with the downside of learning how to walk in them. Stiletto newbie? We've compiled a comprehensive guide to mastering the art of walking in heels.
Start with a small heel and work your way up to your desired heel height. Make life easier for yourself by not only starting with a smaller heel but a wider heel - this will give you more support. Wedges are always good to start with because the heel is attached to the rest of the shoe giving you a little extra help.
Start with taking small steps and walking at a steady pace without rushing
You can add support and comfort to your heels by using gel cushions in your shoes to ease the pain of heels. Break your shoes in by wearing them around the house with thick socks - this'll guarantee fewer blisters later on.
Remember the golden rule of walking in heels: “heel then toe.”
If you want to master the catwalk look, then keep your legs very close together and cross one foot slightly in front of the other.
Practice, practice, practice. If you are worried about walking outside in your shoes right away, walk around the house until you feel you are ready to venture out the front door. The best place to practice is the supermarket as you can use the cart to keep your balance. Just make sure you’re not going to be chasing after a little one.
Don’t rush yourself. Make sure you give your feet a well-earned break every now and then and, whatever you do, don’t try and walk for the whole day when you are first starting out - your feet will thank you.
Make sure you get your other half, or a friend, to massage your tired little feet afterwards – it’s the least you deserve!
When you buy your pair of heels make sure they fit properly. This way you're giving yourself a good head start.
- Once you have mastered walking in the heels, reward yourself by buying a lovely pair of shiny new heels.
- If all else fails, find a lovely young man to lean on for the night - no one need know you're a heel novice!
Caring for your women’s shoes
Taking care of your new shoes will make the difference between an investment buy that'll last for years to come and a throwaway pair that'll be no good after a few months. Here's some tips for keeping your new shoes in tip top condition:
Shoe tree – This will help to keep the shape of the shoe and stop shoes from shrinking. If the shoes are made from leather, this is particularly important as otherwise they can suffer from wrinkling. Shoe trees work by drawing any excess moisture from the shoe in order for the shoe to retain its natural oils.
Check the heels – It is important to regularly check the heels and soles of your shoes. If they are wearing down immediately take them in to be re-heeled rather than continuing to wear them and causing further damage. You can also prevent damage to the heel by avoiding activities that are going to put pressure on this part of the shoe, such as driving.
Polish – If your shoes are made from a material that can be polished then make sure you do so. This will enhance the colour of your shoes up and mask any small imperfections.
- Rotation – In order to give your shoes some rest make sure you have a rotation system, meaning that no single pair of shoes are worn daily for a long time. This will help to avoid excessive wear and tear on your shoes.
Delivery of your women's shoes
The time it takes for your items to arrive will depend greatly on which retailer you buy your women’s shoes from. You do need to remember that if you are buying from outside the U.S., the wait for your shoes will likely be a little bit longer.
It is also important that you check the retailer’s website for any additional shipping costs. Always make sure you are happy with the delivery terms before you confirm your purchase.
Returns when buying women's shoes online
Before buying check to see if the website you are purchasing from does free returns and exchanges. This is important especially when buying an item like shoes because the fit is key. Many websites offer free returns and exchanges but read carefully, some websites will still require you to pay
the shipping and handling if you return or exchange an item.
Look out for credit cards that offer warranty extensions; if you buy a pair of leather shoes that end up wearing down after the warranty your credit card may actually refund you for the purchase. Check with your specific credit card company for details. Also, many credit cards offer a percentage of cash back for online purchases, so you might make a nice little profit from shopping online.
What Do I Do Next?
Now that you know all the ins and outs of buying women’s shoes online, it's time for the best part… shopping! You are now well versed in the different styles of shoes available and the best way to walk in heels. So, it’s time to visit our comparison tables. Because we compare prices from a wide range of retailers you will find the best deals and offers on a whole range of women’s shoes. Whatever you are looking for, you are sure to find it on Cafe La Moda.