Have you ever wondered the different parts of the object of torture you’re wearing on your precious feet? Here’s a basic lesson so you can make informed choices in the future.
Last-This is a model of the foot which establishes the arch which determines how your weight is distributed along the length of your foot. If your arch doesn’t conform to it, the shoe will always be uncomfortable. This is why it’s very important to try on both shoes and walk around.
Shank-This is the curve of the shoe under the arch. The shank absorbs your body weight through the ball of your foot and across the top of your foot. Quality is very important for comfort.
Quarter-This is the back of the shoe where it touches your foot. If it’s too low it won’t offer support. If it’s too high it will dig
into your ankle.
Vamp-This is how high or low a shoe is cut for the toes. The higher the vamp, the more support there is which also helps keep your foot in position so it doesn’t slide back or forth. Especially with high heels, it’s important to have a high vamp.
Toe box-This is obviously where your toes sit. It can be pointy, round or square. The one you pick should complement your height and body type. No matter how pointy the toe box is, you need to be able to wiggle your toes.
Heel height-This can be anywhere from 2” to 6” or higher. Even though the media (and retailers) show you that every woman is always in stilettos, that’s not true, nor is it healthy for your feet or back. About 2 ½” is a good maximum height you can probably do on a daily basis.
Heel width-Generally high heels are thinner although it is stylish now to wear a chunky platform heel which may be quite high. If you don’t like high heels but want the illusion of wearing them, wear kitten heels which are low but thinner and give you the look of wearing heels.
I hope this simple lesson gives you ammunition to make an informed, comfortable choice for your next shoes.