Women's shoes for duck feet?
April 16, 2009 8:33 PM   Subscribe

What kind of women's dress/business suit shoes work for duck feet?

I have a narrow heel and a wide forefoot, and when it comes to women's dress shoes, heels *or* flats, either the back of the shoe is flopping off my heel so I can't keep the shoe on, OR the front is so snug that it hurts after a while (esp with heels, where my whole foot is already sliding down the... ramp. footbed. whatever its called.)

Heel grips that stick inside the heel don't hold well enough. Shoes with ankle straps help, but can I wear these with a skirt? (I'm already quite short/5'4")

Immediate context: Next week, I have a week of interviews which will involve a) wearing a business suit (have both pant and skirt types) and b) running all around the city to different locations.

Hopefully I'm not the only one with this duck-footy problem... thanks!
posted by NikitaNikita to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: (oh, and I have size 9/9.5 (US) feet, if that makes any difference...)
posted by NikitaNikita at 8:39 PM on April 16, 2009

Would nice boots work? If you wear a suit with pants, maybe the fact that they're boots will be completely hidden.
posted by amtho at 8:41 PM on April 16, 2009

I had this problem when I was a kid, and couldn't wear regular flats until I was in high school. This was a bummer because shoes with straps were not in style at the time - but they are now! Mary janes? Not nineties clunky mary janes, per se, but there are plenty of shoes with straps around and "mary jane" is what I'd search, were I you and internet shoe shopping.
posted by moxiedoll at 8:48 PM on April 16, 2009

You could try open-toed slingbacks like these from Cole Haan: it's adjustable in the back, and the peep toe gives you a little wiggle room.

I think dressy loafers work with almost anything.
posted by aquafortis at 9:02 PM on April 16, 2009

Heel grips, my friend. Little sticky pads you put inside the heel of your shoes so they stay on. Double 'em up if need be.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 10:07 PM on April 16, 2009

Oh crap, I hit post by mistake before I added, cover them with a sheet of moleskin or sports tape to keep them on if they tend to roll up. If the tape extends past the frictiony area of your heels, the heel grips should stay on.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 10:09 PM on April 16, 2009

Don't wear slingbacks to an interview! They might be a good option for this issue for shoewear in general, but they are not interview-appropriate. My shoes also have a tendency to slip right off my heel when they fit elsewhere, and ankle-strap or t-strap shoes are really the best dressy option I've found. You can wear them with a skirt as long as they are somewhat sensible ankle-straps and not stripperesque. Here are some examples.

Another option might be a lace-up oxford where you can leave the laces loose in the front to give that area of your foot more room and tighten them more closer to the top (although that could look weird with a skirt).

Another trousers-based solution is to wear shoes that fit well in the toe area, but put on a thin trouser sock/knee-high nylon, then take some really thick socks and cut off the tow area to as high as you need. This makes the heel fit tighter and stays in place, but it can look a little odd to anyone who happens to see you with your shoes off and obviously only works with shoes that you can wear with socks.
posted by Polychrome at 1:25 AM on April 17, 2009

How about a laced boot with a heel? OMG want. That way you can lace them tighter around the heel and ankle? Have you ever tried those partial-foot socks? Those, maybe on top of hose, in a boot seem like a surefire combination.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:09 AM on April 17, 2009

I have something of the same problem, and here is what has worked for me:

- Boots! Ankle boots for trousers, knee boots for skirts. Jones New York makes a lovely ankle boot that is very comfortable to walk in, as well as very professional-looking - find it at Zappo's or DSW.

- As mentioned before, Mary Janes. These are wonderful because they are adjustable. Clarks makes a very interview-worthy heeled Mary Jane that is also nice and comfy.

- Heel grips with moleskin to cover them - adds a layer of thickness plus comfort.

- When you're forced to choose, buy shoes that fit over the widest part of your foot and then pad the heel with the grip + moleskin combo.

- Stay away from pointy-toed shoes.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 6:15 AM on April 17, 2009

The answer is mary janes. My feet do not believe boots to be comfortable. I have also have no chance to have comfortable shoes if I am not willing to spend around $100. Companies to try include Clarks, echo, earth, mephisto, naot. Go to a fancy shoe store and get help from the sales person.
posted by Gor-ella at 7:45 AM on April 17, 2009

Depending on the conservatism of the industry, I would be wary of boots. From Christina Binkley's recent WSJ article entitled "Cracking the Hedge-Fund Dress Code for Women":

One experienced hedge-fund executive, sharply dressed in a Brioni suit the other night, related her experience interviewing for jobs in a suit paired with boots rather than pumps. She didn't get a single call back to a second interview when she wore the boots. If you consider clothes as symbols, a possible explanation emerges: Boots with heels are sexy, with a hint of dominatrix. While that message might be subtle enough for everyday work, our antennae are more sensitive in job interviews, where there's no room for risk.

I know for a while Tods was making pointed "ballet flat" style shoes with the elastic in the back and a pointed toe and a small heel. Something with the ballet flat style elastic around your heel but a small heel for formality might work.
posted by slateyness at 10:12 AM on April 17, 2009

I sympathize as I have a similar problem, especially when I wear heels; my foot tends to slide forward in the shoe which makes the heel loose. Try insolia insoles. They shift your weight back off the ball of your foot. I've tried them, and they do help make the shoe fit better at the heel.
posted by socrateaser at 11:04 AM on April 17, 2009

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