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Choosing Stylish and Comfortable Shoes for Older Women

By Margaret Manning September 19, 2014 Beauty

I have a confession to make. I love shoes. Unfortunately, finding stylish shoes for older women is a challenge. Even when you find a store that sells fashionable and reasonably priced shoes, choosing the best pair isn’t always easy. So, to help demystify the shoe buying process, I turned to fashion expert Melanie Payge.

How to Find the Best Shoes for Older Women

As with so many aspects of fashion for women over 60, the core challenge with shoes is finding a pair that is fashionable, while meeting the needs of our changing bodies. As Melanie said during our interview, “Until someone starts to make shoes with each foot in a slightly different size, we need a solution.”

Here are a few of the tips that Melanie and I discussed. I hope they help you to find shoes that make you feel comfortable and beautiful.

Get to Know Your Feet

Many women think that, when it comes to footwear, there is a direct tradeoff between style and comfort. It’s almost like we think of shoes like food. If it tastes bad, it must be good for us. In reality, there is no such thing as having “problems” with your feet. Each of us has unique problems, which require specific solutions. Once we identify our specific concerns, we can find stylish shoes that make our feet feel great.

For example, if you have problems with your heels, such as calluses, consider a slingback. If your concern is with your toes, go with a toeless shoe. If you are simply looking for a comfortable flat shoe with a heel, consider a loafer.

Just because a brand of shoe is “designed for comfort” doesn’t mean that it will solve your specific issue. In many cases, a more stylish choice that addresses your specific concern may give you the best of both worlds – style and comfort.

A Word of Warning About Shoe Stores

Sales people are hired to do one thing – sell. Human nature being what it is, this means that they will do almost anything in their power to get you to walk out with a shiny new pair of shoes.

Have you ever had a shoe salesman tell you that a pair of shoes will “break in” or “stretch?” Don’t believe a word of it. According to Melanie, shoes should fit amazingly in the store, or you shouldn’t buy them.

When you’re in the shoe store, trying on a pair of shoes that doesn’t feel right, and the sales person tells you that they will stretch, don’t believe them! If the shoe doesn’t feel fight at the moment, do not buy it.

Shoe shopping is hard. It takes a lot of time. It’s one of the most difficult things to do. So, don’t buy shoes because you love them. Buy them because they look and feel great – at the moment you try them on.

Shoes are an important part of fashion for women after 60. Unfortunately, too many of us believe that there is a tradeoff between comfort and style. As a result, we opt for big shoes that make us look clunky and don’t necessarily address the specific problems with our feet.

If you start with your concerns and build your collection of shoes based around your unique feet, you can have the best of both worlds – you can be stylish and feel great.

Do you have a favorite pair of shoes? Who do you think sells the best shoes for older women? What specific challenges have you encountered with buying footwear as you have gotten a little older? Please let us know in the comments section.

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The Author

Margaret Manning is the founder of Sixty and Me. She is an entrepreneur, author and speaker. Margaret is passionate about building dynamic and engaged communities that improve lives and change perceptions. Margaret can be contacted at

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