We understand your frustrations. Dress shoes look very classy, yet the wrong shoes can make you feel like you’re being tortured.
In such cases, the question of why are men’s dress shoes so uncomfortable can crop up in your mind. Now we know what you’ll say, ‘Brilliant, I have to send my favorite pair of shoes into the trash can.’ (insert sarcasm).
Well, not really, there are a few ways you can salvage your favorite dress shoes, and we are here to talk about these. But first, you need to understand the reason why your dress shoes feel so uncomfortable to wear.
Why are Men’s Dress Shoes Uncomfortable for Walking? (5 Reasons)
The Shoes are Newly Purchased
New shoes have a characteristically snug fit. This is because they have not yet been “broken in,” and the material has not relaxed to the shape of your feet. This tight fit is also meant to ensure the shoes maintain their shape and structure for a longer period of time. However, over time and with regular use, the shoes should mold to your feet and become more comfortable.
But what is broken in? When a shoe is said to be "broken in," it means that it has been worn for a sufficient amount of time for the material to relax and mold to the shape of the wearer's foot. This often results in the shoe becoming more comfortable and fitting more easily.
The process of breaking in a shoe can vary depending on the type of shoe and the material it is made from. However, it typically involves wearing the shoes for short periods and gradually increasing the duration of wear as the shoes begin to conform to the feet.
Breaking in a shoe can also involve various methods to soften the material, such as stretching or using a leather conditioner.
Your Shoes are too Narrow
Ah, yes, the classic struggle of finding shoes that fit just right. It's like trying to find a needle in a haystack but with even less wiggle room. If your shoes are too narrow, it can cause your feet to feel cramped and uncomfortable. So, make sure to find shoes that fit your feet properly and allow enough room for your toes to breathe.
The Insoles in the Shoes are Rigid
Insoles are supposed to provide cushioning and support, not cause discomfort and pain. If the insoles are too stiff, it can lead to discomfort and even injury. So, make sure to find a pair of shoes with soft and flexible insoles.
The Shoes don’t Fit Correctly
This is the number one reason for uncomfortable shoes. It's like trying to fit into someone else's pants; it just doesn't work. Make sure you measure your feet properly and buy the correct size to avoid this issue.
You have Skipped Wearing Socks
Skipping socks is like playing a game of Jenga, but instead of removing blocks, you're removing layers of protection for your feet. Wearing socks is crucial for keeping your feet warm and dry and helps prevent blisters and other foot problems. So, make sure to wear socks with your shoes!
How to Deal with Uncomfortable Dress Shoes
Buy the Right Size
It's important to take the time to measure your feet and try on shoes before purchasing them. Wearing shoes too small or too large can lead to discomfort, blisters, and other foot problems. Always measure both feet as they may be different sizes, and always buy shoes that fit the larger foot.
If the shoes you are considering purchasing do not come in various widths, take a look at the toe shape instead. For example, shoes with round toes are typically wider than those with chisel toes, making them a good option for individuals with wider feet.
Break your New Shoes
No, we don’t mean destroying your shoes. If you’ve read the above statement about “shoe-breaking,” you know what we are talking about. You need to loosen up your shoes, so they don’t cause painful blisters because of the tightness. There are 4 ways you can break your shoes.
Wear them regularly: The best way to break in new shoes is to wear them regularly. Start with short periods and gradually increase the amount of time you spend wearing them each day. This will help the shoes mold to the shape of your feet and become more comfortable.
Walk on soft surfaces: When breaking in new shoes, it's best to walk on soft surfaces like carpet or grass. Hard surfaces like concrete or tile can put extra strain on your feet and cause discomfort.
Use leather conditioner: If your shoes are made of leather, consider using a leather conditioner to help soften the material and make it more pliable. This will help to prevent any discomfort or blisters caused by stiff shoes.
Stretch the shoes: If your shoes are tight in certain areas, you can try using a shoe stretcher or wearing thick socks and walking around your house for a few hours to help break in the shoes. By stretching the shoes, you can help to make them more comfortable and prevent any discomfort or blisters caused by tight-fitting shoes.
Invest in Insoles
Insoles can provide additional cushioning and support, making your shoes more comfortable to wear. Look for insoles made of materials like memory foam or gel, which conform to the shape of your feet for maximum comfort.
Adding a 3/4 insole to your shoes is a great way to make them more comfortable. Here's how to add a ¾ insole to your uncomfortable dress shoes.
Remove the existing insole: Remove the insole from the shoe and place it aside.
Measure the insole: Measure the length and width of the existing insole to ensure that the 3/4 insole you purchase will fit correctly.
Purchase a 3/4 insole: You can find 3/4 insoles at most shoe stores or online. Look for one that is specifically designed for dress shoes and is made of a soft and cushioning material, such as foam or gel.
Insert the 3/4 insole: Once you have your 3/4 insole, simply insert it into the shoe, making sure that it covers the entire footbed and extends from the heel to just before the toe.
Test the fit: Put on the shoes and walk around to test the fit and comfort. You should feel a noticeable difference in comfort with the added cushioning from the 3/4 insole.
Use a Shoehorn
A shoe horn can be an important tool for preventing discomfort when wearing dress shoes. By using a shoe horn, you can avoid the back of the shoe digging into your heel, which can cause pain and even blisters.
A shoe horn is especially useful when slipping into shoes with a narrow opening, as it can help you avoid crushing the back of the shoe, which can cause discomfort and even damage the shoe itself.
When using a shoe horn, simply place the wide end of the shoe horn against the back of the shoe, and use it to guide your foot into the shoe. This will allow you to slip into the shoe without scrunching your toes or pushing down on the back of the shoe.
Shoe horns come in different materials, from plastic to metal, and lengths. Choose a shoe horn that is comfortable for you to hold and use and fits easily into your shoe. If you're traveling or don't have a lot of storage space, look for a compact shoehorn that can be folded or stored easily.
Incorporating a shoe horn can help to make putting on your dress shoes a more comfortable experience and can also help to keep your shoes looking new and in good condition.
If your shoes are causing blisters or rubbing in certain areas, add moleskin or other types of padding to the affected areas. This will help to reduce friction and prevent any further discomfort.
Opt for padding specifically designed for use in shoes and made from soft and breathable materials, like foam or gel. You can also choose self-adhesive pads, so they will stay in place without slipping.
To apply the padding, simply clean the affected area of your foot and the inside of your shoe. Then, cut the padding to the right size and shape to fit the area where you are experiencing discomfort. Finally, peel off the backing and stick the padding in place.
It's important to note that while padding can help to reduce friction and prevent blisters, it may not resolve the underlying problem causing the discomfort in the first place. So if your shoes continue to cause discomfort, even with added padding, it may be time to consider purchasing a new pair that better fit your feet and offer the support and comfort you need.
Wear the Right Socks
The right socks can make a big difference in how comfortable your dress shoes feel. Look for socks made of breathable materials like cotton or wool, and ensure they are not too tight or too loose. Avoid wearing socks that are too thick or too thin, as this can affect the fit of your shoes and lead to discomfort.
Socks with a cushioned sole can also help absorb shock and provide additional comfort, especially if you're going to be on your feet for an extended period. If you're prone to blisters, consider investing in socks with extra padding in the areas that tend to rub against your shoes.
It's also a good idea to choose socks that match the color of your shoes, as this will help to create a seamless look. For example, if you're wearing a lighter-colored shoe, opt for a light-colored sock, and if you're wearing a darker shoe, choose a darker sock.
When putting on your socks, make sure they are not bunched up or wrinkled, as this can lead to discomfort and even blisters. Take your time to ensure that your socks are smooth and fit snugly on your feet without being too tight.
By choosing the right socks, you can greatly impact the comfort level of your dress shoes. Invest in a few good-quality pairs of socks, and you'll be well on your way to a more comfortable and stylish shoe experience.
You do not have to throw your dress shoes just because they are uncomfortable. These fixes will help you if you don’t want to waste money buying a brand-new pair. However, if you’ve applied all the tips we’ve suggested, and your problem isn’t still solved, it may be time to consider investing in a new pair of shoes.
Remember that dress shoes are an investment, and it's important to choose a pair that fits well and is comfortable to wear. If you find that no matter what you do, your dress shoes are still causing discomfort, it's probably because they are not the right fit for your feet.
In this case, it's better to bite the bullet and purchase a new pair of shoes that fit correctly rather than continue to wear shoes that cause pain and discomfort. The right pair of shoes can make all the difference in how you feel, both physically and mentally, and it's worth taking the time to find a pair that works for you.