A great shoe is about more than gorgeous looks - it's about the sole, too
Tips for Finding a Comfortable Pump
Hold the shoe at the heel and the toe area. The sole should be flexible and bend at the front of the arch but have a stiff bottom through the arch.
Choose a pump with a high heel that is directly underneath the center of your heel. If it is too far forward or at the back of the shoe, you'll have balance problems.
Look for false fronts. "A pointy-toe shoe with an area that is much longer than your toes has a false front. It keeps your toes from being squished," says Suzanne Levine, a podiatric surgeon in New York City.
Make sure the toe area is wide enough through the ball of your foot.
Note that a wedge shoe distributes your weight more evenly and offers support all the way through the foot. Be aware, however, that the limited sole flexibility of a wedge increases the risk of rolling your ankle over the side.
Test a shoe for cushioning by pressing a finger into the ball area. It should have a little give or a slightly padded feel.
Avoid synthetics. Wear shoes with leather, suede, or fabric uppers. These materials breathe, which lessens the chance of blistering.
Tips for Finding a Comfortable Flat
Look for sturdy construction. "Try to push in the area around the heel," says Meghan Cleary, author of The Perfect Fit: What Your Shoes Say About You (Chronicle Books, $13, amazon.com). "If the heel collapses enough to touch the insole, the shoe is not supportive."
Hold each end of a shoe and try to twist it. If the shoe bends too much, it won't be supportive.
Look for flats with a little bit of a heel if you have high arches. Heels provide relief from foot pain.
Buy shoes with leather or rubber soles for optimum shock absorption.
Wear only shoes that have leather or suede insoles. Breathable and pliable, they help prevent chafing and blistering, and they mold to the feet.
Search for round-toe flats. They follow the shape of the foot and allow the toes to move.
Avoid slippage and cuts on your heel by finding a shoe with a back that fits snugly and holds your foot securely.
Tips for Finding a Blister-Proof Sandal
Avoid wobbly shoes. Examine a shoe's quality by looking at how it sits on a table. A well-built one will be balanced and look stable when standing on its own.
Find stack heels that have a broad heel tap (base), which allows for better shock absorption. You will also be steadier on your feet.
Stay away from backless shoes, such as thongs and slides, because they cause pain in the balls of the feet, says Suzanne Levine. Instead, look for a sandal with straps that hit just below the ankle (not encircling it). These will help stabilize the foot and hold it securely.
Wear only sandals that have leather or suede-lined straps to prevent chafing.
Make sure the toe-box area is wide enough for the broadest part of your foot.
Look for platform shoes that give the illusion of a higher heel without the feel of it.
Examine the insides of straps for seams and other construction details that might dig into feet.
Lightings: By Room-Foyers, Stairways & Hall Lighting
Use The Perfect Lighting Fixture to Transform Your Home Decor
Lighting is one of the key elements that helps make your house a home. The proper lighting enables you to perform tasks easily, makes you feel safer and more comfortable, and allows you to enjoy your home at its full potential. Each room, however, has specific and unique General and Accent lighting needs. We've laid out some tips and ideas to consider when planning your lighting needs for each room in your home. If you are uncertain about what type of lighting fixture you need, or you're just looking for inspiration, take a few minutes to browse through our guide!
Foyer, Stairways, and Halls
The foyer conveys the first impression of a home's interior. Center a traditional chandelier, contemporary pendant, or transitional close-to-ceiling fixture, in your hallway to provide basic illumination and create a welcoming atmosphere. When choosing lighting for your foyer, hall, or stairway, consider the following:
For General Lighting, make sure to size the decorative fixture to the space. Not all foyers can accommodate a large chandelier, so make sure the size proportions are correct. Likewise, if you have a larger space, you'll need a larger fixture. If you'll be able to view the fixture from above, make sure to select a foyer chandelier, or pendant that looks attractive from second story viewing.
Remember that stairways and halls must have good general lighting for safety. To prevent accidents, stairs should be lit from top to bottom with switches in both places. For safety in hallways, place lighting fixtures every 8 to 10 feet. Tie in the fixtures you choose by matching your foyer chandelier or pendant with semi flush ceiling lights for hallways and smaller chain hung lights for stairways.
For Accent Lighting needs, use matching wall sconces to complement the hanging foyer pendant or chandelier. Always mount a wall sconce above eye level (approximately 66" from the center of the fixture to the floor) so that the lamp source is not visible.
Make your artwork come to life and illuminate it with halogen light from track or adjustable recessed down-lighting
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