Your perfect wedding day: man of your dreams, dress of a lifetime, location breathtaking. All your plans are set and it's time to take it easy. But it's likely you've forgotten the most important part of your day (no, not your marriage license!): what to put on your feet. 

What you decide to put on your feet is crucial to how much you will enjoy the day and how much pain you will be in afterwards- and no one wants memories of aching or injured feet on their wedding day. 

"Brides think that aching feet at the end of their wedding day is just something they'll have to put up with. But while dancing the night away at the reception can tire their feet, brides shouldn't end their big day with sore feet. The right shoe choice can help protect them from foot pain," said Jacqueline Sutera, DPM, spokeswoman for the American Podiatric Medical Association. 

The average bride is looking for style, thinking they're only going to wear the shoes for a little while. Wearing shoes that irritate or discomfort your feet, even for a short time, can cause long-term injury, and make existing problems, like bunions or hammertoes worse. 

When picking out shoes for your wedding day, here are some things to keep in consideration:

  • Lower heels are better. Your legs may look fabulous in 5-inch stilettos, but very high heels put a lot of pressure on your feet and can even cause misalignment of spine. Since you're going to be on your feet for hours, consider a heel of less than 2-inches. 
  • Don't think you can make it through the big day without those 5-inch heels? Purchase a second, lower-heeled pair to bring with you for when your feet start to hurt (and they will). Wear the high heels for the ceremony and pictures, and switch to the lower pair for dancing.
  • Pointed or tight shoes pinch the toes into unnatural positions, and can cause a number of foot problems. Shoes with rounded, wide toe boxes tend to be more comfortable. When selecting shoes, a good rule of thumb is if you can't wiggle your toes in the shoes, they're too tight.
  • Look for shoes made of materials that "give" more. Patent leather pumps look great, but satin shoes have a bit more stretch. Avoid vinyl or plastic shoes, which don't breathe at all.
  • Whatever material you end up selecting, your shoes should have a flexible sole that allows your toes to bend naturally when you walk and have a rigid, cushioned heel counter to keep your feet from slipping around in your shoe. You may consider purchasing insoles for your shoes to cushion the heels, arches, and balls of your feet. 
  • Don't purchase a beautiful, uncomfortable pair of shoes thinking you'll be able to "break them in." It won't happen. Any pair of shoes you purchase should be comfortable immediately, and you probably won't want to wear them before the wedding anyway because of the risk of scuffing or dirtying them. If they're uncomfortable in the store, they'll be uncomfortable on your wedding day. 
  • Go shopping in the afternoon or evening when you feet are the largest. Even if you're going to have a morning wedding, choose your wedding shoe based on your end of the day size to get the best fit. 
  • Flip-flops are a growing trend for brides getting married in the summer months or on a tropical destination and can be very comfortable. But choose the right style. Flip-flops that bend freely and twist easily offer no stability or support. You should look for flip-flops that bend only at the ball of the foot, provide arch support, cushioning the foot and providing stability. The thong part of the shoe should be made of soft, high-quality leather to avoid blisters. 

"Sore feet should be the last thing on your mind on the biggest day of your life," Sutera says. "Some wise choices in footwear can help brides ensure their feet feel as great as they look on their wedding day."

If you believe have a foot problem and do not currently see a podiatrist, call one of our six locations to make an appointment.

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