Miss Meghan, Fashion Advice

November 6, 2007


The fabulous Amy Dufault investigated further into the eternal conflict in the Cape Cod Times . . .

Step away from foot pain

You, the woman with the neatly lined boxes of slightly worn shoes! And you! The shoe hoarder who chanted, "Fashion is pain, fashion is pain," while jamming your swollen toes into a shiny new pair of pumps because they looked so perfect. The time has come to get real.

Just to start this out right, keep in mind that rumor has it a whopping nine out of 10 women have something irregular with their feet, anything from bunions to hammer toes to flat feet to arthritis. Finding comfortable shoes isn't always easy, but there are little tricks and I've swollen my own size nines to get them to you.

First, the fun stuff.

We turn to the supreme authority on all things shoes, the Home Shopping Network's Meghan Cleary, whose show, "Shoe Therapy," offers "part high-end runway commentary, part shopping with the girls, and a whole lot of shoe excitement," according to her Web site.

Cultivating a lifelong obsession into a new career as doyenne of all things shoe, Cleary a favorite of Tyra Banks and proclaimed a "shoe psychologist" by Isaac Mizrahi, says thousands of women have poured their hearts out to her when it comes to shoes and she knows why.

"I think the biggest thing with shoes is how it reflects a woman's mood and state of mind in a particular moment," says Cleary. "They're more revealing than jeans or bags, because they hit on a number of different levels and have a physiological impact on how we walk and occupy space."

Author of "The Perfect Fit" (2005, Chronicle Books), Cleary believes that though most women are constantly in search of the perfect-fitting shoe, they need to look more at themselves and their ever-changing lifestyles.

"I think there's sort of a conflict within a woman when it comes to comfort and style," says Cleary. "We see a beautiful pair of shoes and want them to fit, but I don't think any shoe is going to be perfectly perfect."

If a woman should find that perfect shoe, Cleary says, she should always buy more than one pair.

And, she adds there are tricks to making a shoe fit even if it doesn't want to.

A strong supporter of Dr. Scholl's insoles and molding skin foam that can be cut out to any shape you need, Cleary says she puts the foam on the inside of her shoe to alleviate pressure points that by day's end will become pain points.

"One thing I've realized as a shoe expert is to really, really tailor your shoe to you," says Cleary

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