Comfy V's Formal: The Back to Work Series - Shoes

Finally, some semblance of normality has slowly but surely arrived in our lives. More shops and businesses are opening meaning more of us returning to the office. For me, my travel distance is from upstairs to the kitchen/office or sitting room or bedroom depends on what I'm working on. Either way, the luxury of being in pj's all day is now a luxury. So how do we navigate the change from comfy loungewear to work clothes and still be comfortable? Keep reading, because in these series I'll show you how with tried and tested tips...

I have to start this series with shoes. We stand and walk on our feet all day and they get abused by ill-fitting contraptions we call shoes.

Story: I remember working for a company where I had to wear heels all day. I searched the kingdom for the perfect pair. I wanted to try Banana Republic 24-hour shoes but they no longer existed in the UK. In the end, I settled for 'Next Forever Comfort'. The first day felt like a dream. I felt sexy, confident and ready to conquer the world. They were suede, pointed and had a slight 'V' shape, they were beautiful. Que the next day, Gordon Bennett, I was breathing so hard through the pain of blisters that developed I thought I was going to pass out, to make matters worse, I didn't have any other shoes and still had another three hours until the end of my shift.

Question: How many times have we done that and then end up putting them to the back of our cupboard in hopes they will magically stretch or become comfortable? I'm out of fingers. Over the years, I have started to invest a bit more in my feet, if the shoes feel remotely uncomfortable or lack 'give', I leave them on the shelf. The thing is being honest with yourself. I remember when I was a child my step-mum said liars have ugly toes and looked at mine. She's probably forgotten but that stuck with me and gave me a complex about my feet I didn't need to have because they were fine. But before you bitch, think about what she said. It's not about lying to others it's about lying to yourself. Every time we put our feet through pain for pretty shoes or sexy heels, we lie to ourselves. Now admittedly now, I have discolouration on my baby toes and because I'm a black woman you notice it more than you would on a white or lighter woman. But that still doesn't mean we shouldn't look after our feet.

Louboutin said in one of his quotes: "I would hate for someone to look at my shoes and say 'God, that looks so comfortable!", unfortunately, the most beautiful shoes at times are blister-busting and ugly feet creating, whilst the most comfortable is at times the most unflattering. And for me non-leather shoes don't work, I have to have suede or leather to allow my feet to mould the shoe and breath. Remember like clothes, all shoes fit feet differently, wearing your correct size is important. If like me you are a 6 1/2 buying a size up or down 'won't cut the mustard'.

Tip: Try a wider fit. Sometimes you get a bit more 'give' and they can be comfortable also it allows you to stretch the shoes without breaking your feet (speaking from experience). If you do persist on wearing shoes that hurt wear them for 4 hours a day and swap for something comfortable. Give them two weeks (again from experience) and they'll be manageable.

Another Tip: Invest in Party feet sore spots-gel insoles, that was the only way I got through my job in those shoes until I found a comfy pair. Stick them where the shoes cut and rub. Your feet will thank you!