Intended to protect and offer comfort to our feet, there's so much more to shoes that functionality. In effect, they are regarded as a fashion statement, representative of one's social status, while they can affect our perception of others. Looking for a good pair of high heels or stilettos that will exude your femininity? Or perhaps you're after some classic brogues? Locally stores abound, with many found in large shopping hubs like Valletta, Sliema and Paola, though some also operate in smaller towns and villages.
Shoes for Men and Women
Stores in Malta and Gozo stock a wide range of shoes for both men and women. Whether it's for winter or summer you can find a wide choice of formal and casual ones in different colours, materials and sizes. Amongst the most popular women's shoes you'll find flats like ballerinas, moccasins and canvas flats, as well as various types of boots like riding boots, ankle boots, rain boots and combat boots. Heels are naturally quite popular both for everyday use and special occasions and may consist of slingback heels, pumps and ankle straps which have an open toe with support behind the heel. A pair of pointed black heels should form part of your wardrobe essentials. On the other hand, during the hot summer months, most women prefer sandals like sliders, strappy sandals, gladiators and flip flops. Lastly, sneakers and trainers are ideal for either complementing a casual attire or for performing sports. Here you can opt for casual sneakers that offer comfort and support or running shoes.
As expected, the range of footwear for men is not as wide as that of women, however, they do have different options. From ankle boots and elevator shoes to loafers, slip-ons, flip flops and open strap sandals, there's something for everyone. Additionally, you may want to purchase a pair that sports some form of detailing like cap toe which has an extra piece of leather on the toe or wingtip, which features a pointed toecap that reaches along each side of the shoe. And if you're looking to add further interest, why not select a shoe that has tassels?
What's important to remember is that footwear must fit well and be comfortable since wearing a pair of ill-fitting shoes can lead to a number of problems. Wondering what exactly is a good fit? Toes should have enough space in closed shoes, around half an inch between the longest toe and the end of the shoe, while when it comes to high heeled pumps, make sure that your toes lie flat one next to the other and are not squashed.
The sales assistants available in stores can always help you find the right shoe for the right occasion or offer advice on sizing. In addition, if a shoe you'd like to purchase is not available in your size but the business operates stores in other localities, you might be offered the option to have that particular shoe brought over for you from another store that has it. And if you'd like to get an idea of what's available before visiting the store, most have their own websites or Facebook page where you can have a look at images of their new collections, shoes on sale and much more.
The majority of stores also sell various shoe accessories such as insoles, laces, shoe horns and polish, as well as an assortment of matching bags, backpacks, purses and belts, while some may also have socks and hosiery.
What to Look for When Buying Kids Footwear
The majority of adult shoe stores also sell children's shoes. These could range from fashionable footwear ideal for special occasions such as weddings, Holy Communion or Confirmation to casual shoes, trainers, as well as school shoes.
Yet, selecting the appropriate pair for your kid can be a tricky affair. For starters, you need to decide whether a new pair is indeed needed. Look for visible signs of tearing or stressed seams, any bulging on the sides and any breakdown of the fastening. Another obvious sign is if your child is actually complaining of feeling uncomfortable when they are on. Generally speaking, children aged between 1 and 2 need to have their shoes checked every 2 months, whereas kids who are 3 and 4 years old, every 4 months or so should suffice. School-aged children will probably need to have their shoes checked every 6 months or yearly.
Sizing is key, although the younger your child, the harder it is to find the right size. However, there are a number of things you can do. For instance, you may want to draw an outline of your child's feet and then consult a shoe size chart or wait until you go to the store and have their feet measured by a professional. Remember that both feet should be checked since one tends to be slightly larger than the other. The shoe must be snug enough not to fall off but not too tight. You'll know the size is just right if there is a 12 mm gap between the longest toe and the end of the shoe.
Preferably, opt for shoes that are made out of breathable material such as canvas or leather and ensure that the soles are sturdy and thick. It would also be helpful if these are patterned or are textured since they will offer a steady underfoot when on uneven or slippery ground. Avoid synthetic materials that keep the foot moist and can bread bacteria and fungi resulting in foot problems and smelly feet and keep away from heels which are prone to causing accidents, while they are considered bad for foot development.
If unsure about the sizing or type of shoe, the store should have experienced and qualified personnel who will be able to guide you accordingly. An added tip to keep in mind, however, is that ideally, you should leave shoe shopping for later on in the day when feet tend to swell over.
What Are the Benefits of Orthopaedic Shoes?
Some shoe shops may also have orthopaedic footwear available for those who suffer from a particular foot condition and need support to reduce foot pain, whereas others only sell this type. Although traditionally, these used to be associated with older people, a number of younger individuals who may be suffering from different conditions may opt for these. Ideal for anyone with extra wide feet, hammertoes, bunions and other toe problems or suffering from diabetes, arthritis or edema, there are a number of features that set them apart from regular shoes. For instance, they typically feature removable insoles, they are easier to fasten since they tend to have a hook-and-loop closure perfect for those with mobility issues or with arthritis, while they have a firm and supportive heel which offers additional support to the rear end of the foot.
Did you know that shoes have the ability to shake things up in the fashion industry? Have a look at these top fashion trends and see how cowboy boots are set to be the next big thing.