The focus for most brides is picking out the perfect wedding dress, but the right shoes can make or break your big day. A few easy do’s and don’ts will help you choose a pair of shoes that look and feel incredible.
Whether your shoes will be mostly hidden beneath your gown or visible the entire time, it’s important to choose the right pair for your wedding. The best choice will combine your personal style with plenty of comfort—after all, who wants to be in pain and have blisters on their wedding day? These easy do’s and don’ts will help you choose the perfect shoes for your perfect day.
Do: Put Comfort First
It’s so easy to get caught up in the aesthetics of beautiful wedding shoes that some brides forget the most important part: choosing a pair that won’t torture their feet for hours.
Enter, the sneaker wedding shoe trend! It’s the direct result of what we described above. With more brides prioritizing comfort, shoe brands have done the same. That’s why you’ll now see options like Keds x Rifle Paper Co. Champion Colette Jacquard sneakers on the racks.
Equal parts comfort and elegance, these subtle, but classy, gold-and-white print shoes provide all the soft, sturdy comfort of a classic Keds sneaker. There are no bows or shedding glitter—just a timeless floral lace pattern in gold thread on a creamy white fabric. It’s the perfect shoe to take you down the aisle, to the dance floor, and then back to everyday life.
If you’re looking for something a little more traditional, but still comfy, look for some combination of these: a lower (or chunkier) heel, and/or good support through the sole of the shoe. Something like IDIFU’s Women’s Candice Wedding Kitten Heels still have a heel and all the sparkling details a bride could ask for.
Don’t: Leave Them in the Box Until the Big Day
Once you’ve found the perfect shoes, it’s tempting to leave them boxed up and tucked away until your wedding day to avoid getting them scuffed or dirty. While you definitely want to protect them from potential damage, it’s not a good idea to spend hours on one of the biggest days of your life in shoes that haven’t been broken in.
Instead, in the weeks before your wedding, wear your shoes around the house for a few hours a day. Stay inside and on clean flooring (stay out of the dingy basement or attic). You’ll also want to avoid doing any heavy work or chores while wearing your wedding shoes.
Just go about your daily business. The important thing is to allow the warmth and motion from your feet to soften and mold the shoes to fit your foot. This should help you avoid any pain or blisters on your wedding day.
Do: Bring Your Shoes to Your Dress Fitting
If possible, it’s best to pick out your shoes and have them with you before you even go to your first dress fitting. The height and style of your shoes can make a huge difference in how the dress is hemmed, so it’s critical that you wear your shoes (or at least a similar pair) at the fitting.
Also, if you’re taking dance lessons to perform a particular dance with your partner at the reception, it’s a good idea to bring your shoes along to those, as well. If that’s not possible, set some time aside pre-wedding to do a test run of the dance in your shoes.
This will give you some time to make adjustments or select a second pair of shoes to wear while you dance.
Don’t: Feel Like You Have to Go Traditional
A traditional wedding shoe is usually something with a heel and in a shade of white or metallic. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, there’s no rule that says you have to wear that style.
One option is to choose a traditional shoe style, and then add a pop of color. For example, these ElegantPark Heels feature a peep-toe with a jeweled accent. They’re a classic shape and style, but they come in a number of vibrant colors if you want to change things up.
If you’d rather go a lot more unconventional, though, you might choose a completely different shape, color, and/or design!
If that’s more your style, boots and booties are gaining a real foothold (pun intended) in the bridal market. Something like these full-sparkle, glam Betsey Johnson Kyla Booties are incredibly stylish and mod. They’re also available in a few different colors, from classic white to bold pink or red.
Do: Keep the Venue in Mind
Different venues come with different requirements when it comes to footwear. When picking out your wedding shoes, don’t forget to consider the kind of terrain or flooring you’ll be walking on.
If you’ll be indoors from ceremony to reception, you have a little more wiggle room, as pretty much any shoe will work on solid ground. However, hardwood and other types of flooring can be particularly slick. If possible, do a test run of your dance in your wedding shoes or just walk around. Make sure you feel stable and safe.
Will part or all of your wedding be outdoors? If so, you’ll want to consider the terrain. Do you need shoes that’ll keep you steady on a shifting, sandy beach? Or is it a grassy venue, where spiky heels might sink into the soil?
Keeping these factors in mind will help you pick out the right shoes, and giving them a test run at your venue will help you feel prepared and have one less thing to stress about on the big day.
Don’t: Skip the Backups
Go ahead and choose your dream wedding shoes, but don’t be caught unawares—accidents do happen. Heels break, wine gets spilled on white shoes, and feet get tired, even if you don’t expect them to. You can easily avoid having a stressful shoe emergency at your wedding with just a little preparation.
There are a few ways you can be prep for any wedding-day shoe emergency: buy two pairs of wedding shoes or buy a cheaper, backup pair. If you go with the former option and something happens to the first pair, no will notice the difference if you slip on an identical pair.
The downside of this option is that, depending on the price of your shoes, this could get costly. Plus, if there’s a problem with the shoe itself, such as blisters or a lack of support, switching them out for the exact same style won’t solve your problem.
A second option is to have a designated backup (and cheaper) pair of shoes. For example, a basic white pump that’s cheaper and more comfortable would be a good option.
Or, you might prefer to go all out on comfort and pick up some wedding slippers. Ditch the fancy heels altogether at the reception and dance your heart out in these pretty, satin slip-ons. They even have an anti-skid leather sole.
Sure, your backups might not perfectly coordinate with your outfit and accessories like your main pair, but you’ll be thankful to have them if something goes wrong.
Choosing the perfect wedding shoes takes a bit more thought than just grabbing the first pair you think is pretty. With this handy list of do’s and don’ts, though, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices much more quickly and check one more thing off your wedding to-do list.