Reader Erin asked:
I have a pair of patent leather heels with patent leather insoles that are kinda treacherous to wear with betighted footsies (it’s kinda slippery). Can you suggest a product to add some grip to slippery insoles? This wasn’t a problem when I wore these kicks with bare feet in the summer. I would like to see a post on tricks to make shoes fit/work better, and I think you could talk a bit about how your feet change from season to season. You mentioned recently that a pair of shoes you bought in the summer now were pretty loose because of hot-weather swelling. Maybe you could tie in how to transition shoes from one season to another.
Ahhh, yes, that fun transition from sticky bare feet sweating inside your pumps to pulling on a pair of tights and feeling alarmingly unstable as your foot slides around inside the shoe body. How can we WIN?
Well, one way is to wear only tall boots all winter long. But that can get a bit dull. So here are a few other suggestions for making your shoes fit and work year-round.
Dr. Scholls (and generic knockoffs) makes insoles, toe pads, and heel grippers that are made from what looks like anti-freeze flavored Jell-O, and these all provide some delightful tackiness inside your pumps. Of course they also add bulk … but since our feet tend to shrink just a bit when the weather cools off, that might not be a huge problem. Experiment with the various products to see which is the most comfortable and practical for your feet and your shoe wardrobe. Don’t go thinking insoles are your only options! Smaller, ball-of-foot pads are available, too.
This product is meant for sweaty summer feet, but would work just as well to combat the slippery tights problem. I haven’t used these myself and am pretty sure the adhesive is permanent … so some of the gel products might be less scary commitment-wise.
Socks over tights for boots
I end up slipping around inside several of my favorite pairs of tall boots, too, and although the boot shaft itself provides some stability, it still feels a little wobbly in there. But since nobody is peeking down the shaft of my boots, I just throw on a pair of medium-weight cotton socks over my tights. They add bulk and provide some added traction, but also breathe so I don’t end up with a nasty case of stinkfoot.
Hairspray is basically a universal tackifier and a little spritz on the inside of a slippery shoe will give you a touch of traction without ruining your tights. Well, that last bit is debatable I suppose. Try this out with thick, durable opaques. Do something less risky for nylons, fishnets, or anything delicate.
I use moleskin to shield my feet from shoes that rub, but the product could just as easily serve as a slip-reducer. Cut a few small squares and stick them to the sole, two up front, one in the middle, and one at the heel. Make sure they’re large enough that they won’t cause blisters, and be warned that the adhesive might make these squares hard to remove.
Image courtesy Zappos.
**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for alreadypretty.com. See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details. Sustainable options are either used, handmade, made in the U.S., artisan made in non-sweatshop conditions, or made using sustainable/fair trade practices.