The always elegant and slender Audrey Hepburn went out of her way to minimize her large feet. She often wore flats — the gamin look in her movies was partly due to skinny pants ending just above a pair of ballet flats. She bought them a size too big so her feet would look small, not squeezed, in her shoes. Fortunately, you don’t need a Hollywood contract to score some fabulous flats for wide feet.
Ballet flats, a perennial favorite, are very forgiving for wide feet. They are modeled after the soft shoes dancers wear for warm-ups at the barre, and the best of them mold to your foot for a day at school, the shops or the office. Slip-on ballet flats have a round, wide toe box, soft leather or fabric uppers, and a plain, slightly narrow heel, which helps to keep them on your feet. Look for ballet flats with a shock-absorbing footbed, some arch support and a heel cut low enough so it doesn’t hit your heel bone and cause blisters.
Accent on Fabulous
Hunt down some metallic flats to impress your friends and grow your fans list. Metallic flats are neutrals with a touch of wild — they go with everything, but they are never boring. Pair them with skinny black jeans, a little wrap dress, or cut-off denims and a short leather jacket. Folded and wrapped leather or fabric toe boxes also focus attention on the cool shoe design, not the expanse from toe to toe.
Tricks and Tips
Put your best foot forward in your uber-comfortable flats by following some style guidelines to create a flattering profile for your not-so-slender feet. Contrasting caps on the toes of your flats or a small flower or bow distract the eye from a broad expanse of shoe by breaking it up. Ornaments on the toe box are okay, but a good rule is “less is more.” This is an absolute law when it comes to straps. Forget ankle straps — they’re too thin and choppy on a wide, flat shoe. And don’t get fancy if you do opt for instep straps; they break up the line of your foot into wide, blocky segments. Consider flats with the merest hint of a heel to angle your foot imperceptibly and create a longer leg.
You do have a life, and you can’t spend it on safari for the perfect pair of shoes. Narrow your search, but shop strategically to increase your odds of a Cinderella-like happily ever after. Get to know the designers who take risks with fashion — and who make their shoes in a narrow-to-extra-wide range of widths. They will do the heavy lifting of finding styles that work beautifully for every width, and you will benefit with a closet full of shoes that make you feel like dancing.