Blame it on Cinderella (and Carrie Bradshaw) but women love new shoes. Just one pair can refresh a tired wardrobe and boost our mood. But trendy shoes and 50-plus feet may not be a great match once you get over the initial heart-stopping attraction. Grownup tootsies may be dealing with any combination of foot issues including plantar fasciitis, bunions and sore soles. The secret to a great buy is to find shoes, boots and sneakers with both inner and outer beauty. Try a pair of:
1. Knee-high boots
Welcome back! It’s been a while. Although tall leather boots have always been swoon-worthy they kind of disappeared for a few years in favor or low booties and ankle boots. Many women (especially those with full calves, muscular legs or circulation issues) didn’t love the compression. But fashion is cyclical and knee boots feel right with longer-length skirts and dresses and culotte wide-cropped pants. To ease the squeeze choose boots with stretchy panels and a full-length zipper, like the Trotters Kirby Knee-High Boot in Black Croc Print Leather ($160, nordstrom.com) in regular and wide-calf sizes, Rocket Dog Palomino in Brown ($41, 6pm.com), A New Day Women’s Corene Tall Boots in Black ($45, target.com) and Timberland Malynn Waterproof Tall Boot in Medium Brown Full Grain ($97, 6pm.com). Be picky. If there’s no zipper, keep looking. A zipper but no stretch panel? Ditto. P.S. Younger women have discovered knee boots and over-the-knee boots and are wearing them with thigh-high minis this year. Don’t be tempted.
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2. Cool black “fashion” sneakers
Be realistic. Colorful sneakers and those that resemble spaceships are fun to look at or wear for sports but have little to do with clothes and everyday life. However, black canvas kicks like the Vans Old Skool Platform Sneaker in Black/White ($70, nordstrom.com), the Keds Kickstart in Black ($55, zappos.com) or Superga Cotu Sneaker in Black/Black/White ($65, nordstrom.com) are a mix of cool, classic and fashionable. These sneaks are ideal when you want to blend serious clothes with casual or relaxed pieces while checking all the boxes for support, stability and traction.