Whether you're walking down the aisle this autumn or waiting it out for a winter-wonderland affair, there's one key element to a foolproof bridal look you're going to want to have planned: the shoes. With so much importance placed on the wedding dress, it can be easy to forget the accessories you need to complete your look. A small factor they may seem, but wearing the wrong shoes on your big day can so easily hold you back from having the best time of your life. Get the right ones, however, and years on, it'll be the vows and the first dance you remember—not the blisters and bare feet!
As a stylist, shoe connoisseur and previous bride, I'd like to think I'm in a pretty good place to offer advice on what footwear options will work best on your big day. Of course, every wedding is different, and the shoes you choose may be somewhat dictated by the setting. You absolutely will not want stilettos on a beach, for example, unless you want to be sinking while saying "I do." But equally, you might not want boho flats if you're comfortable in heels and your dress requires a bit of height.
I can, with good authority, though, say that the one heel you should steer clear of on your big day (if comfort is in any way a deciding factor) is a sky-high pointed-toe stiletto. While they are, of course, totally glam, they put all the pressure on your arches, the balls of your feet and the edges of your toes (read: three times the pain). Add in some too-tight strappy straps that do nothing but dig in, and you've got a straight-up wedding-day nightmare.
Some might say you should consider function over fashion; others will tell you your shoes should be as fabulous as the rest of your look. My opinion? Find a happy medium. I'm here to suggest eight comfortable but chic alternatives to consider when buying your wedding shoes. No matter what kind of wedding day you're planning, there's a comfortable shoe here to save it, from platforms to wedges and cowboy boots.
Read on to see and shop the best wedding shoes to buy in an expert's opinion.
Wear Instead: Midi Heels
If you don’t want to forgo flattering pointed-toe heels on your wedding day, opting for a style with a lower heel (70 millimetres and under) is a good compromise. Actually, any type of heels you decide on (from strappy sandals to courts) shouldn't be more than mid-height if you want to last all day and night in them.
Block heels give you height without the added pain of a stiletto—not to mention it makes it a lot easier to walk in. A supportive sole and low arch make these pretty sandals almost as comfortable as flats—just make sure you keep any ankle straps loose to avoid blisters and irritation throughout the day.
Similar to block heels and platforms, wedges have more surface area than stiletto heels, making them generally more stable. Wedges are also ideal for outdoor nuptials since they won’t sink into grass or cause you to stumble over uneven terrain.
Platforms are not only the biggest shoe trend of 2022, but they also handily bring the balls of your feet closer to the level of your heel via the platform, alleviating the strain on your arch and ankles. The thicker sole also offers more padding between your foot and the hard ground, which is always a plus. Perfect for the fashion-forward bride who wants something a little different.
Flats are a wedding-day no-brainer if you’re looking for maximum comfort. And thanks to an array of fabulously embellished styles, you don’t have to give up the luxe look usually associated with bridal shoes. That said, you'll want to look for a pair that matches the vibe and venue of your wedding. If you’re having a casual, backyard affair, it’s perfectly appropriate to ditch the satin and sparkles and opt for a simpler pair of ballet flats or lace-up leather sandals.
If you never wear heels, consider tossing tradition altogether with a pair of white trainers. Whether they're hidden under a frothy princess dress or shown off with a suit or mini, they'll always have major cool-girl appeal.
Don't discount cowboy boots as the fancy of Southern American men and country singers. Fashion girls have been pairing them with their outfits for a while now, and why shouldn't that extend to wedding days? Comfy but still cool and a little unexpected, they complement a floaty dress perfectly, especially if you're planning a rustic affair.