Step Up Your Style: The Power of the Perfect Shoe

When we were young, most of us didn’t pay much attention to our shoes. We wore what we liked, and if they were comfortable, that was great. However, as we reach midlife, we start looking for “comfort shoes.” We prioritize comfort over style. I think you can step up your style and find the perfect shoe.

I understand that as we age, we may need to adjust our style. However, I don’t believe that means we have to look frumpy. We can still be stylish and comfortable, but it may take a little more effort. The right pair of shoes can make all the difference!

During a recent cruise, I noticed many women my age and older wearing beautiful dresses. However, when I looked at their shoes, they looked out of place, ruining the entire outfit. Moreover, their shoes made them appear older than they actually were.

Step Up Your Style: The Power of the Perfect Shoe

Here are some examples: the first picture is a comfort shoe that many women will choose. A navy striped dress with navy shoes.

In this picture, I’m wearing a flat sandal, but it’s neutral, which helps elongate my legs. It’s still comfortable, but I think this sandal is a much better option.

I prefer a low heel for added height, and there are comfortable low heels. These heels are from Walmart, and they are comfortable, but they’re no longer available. I found a similar option.

Here are the three shoes side by side.

Dress (small) | Navy Slingback Sandal (TTS) | Dolce Vita Sandal (TTS)  | Walmart Block Heel (similar option here) | Earrings

This is a dressier dress, but many times, I see women opt for a casual flat, even a flip-flop.

These Naturalizers are a very low heel, and comfortable, and the slingback is a trending style. They come in medium, wide, and narrow widths.

This is another pair of Naturalizers with a slightly higher but still comfortable heel. The shoes are available in medium and wide widths.

Here are the three shoes side by side.

Dress (small, runs big, I need to size down) | Vionic Strappy Sandal (TTS) | Naturalizer Slingback Heel (TTS)  | Nude Slingback Heel (TTS) | Earrings

Again, because the dress is navy, we tend to think we need to wear navy shoes, but that’s not the best option.

I’m in love with these low heels. So chic! Neutral shoes are also a great option to avoid drawing attention to your legs if you are struggling with varicose veins, etc.

Here are the two shoes side by side.

Sweater Dress (small) | Navy Slingback Heel (TTS) | Naturalizer Slingback Heel (TTS)| Earrings

Lastly, I styled black dress pants with a flat sandal. If I were going to wear flats with these pants, I would opt for these flats.

I could have worn black heels, but I still love a neutral shoe, even with black pants. The heels I’m wearing come in a black color.

Here are the two shoes side by side.

Libby Top (small) | Black Pants (4) | Vionic Strappy Sandal (TTS) | Naturalizer Slingback Heel (TTS)| Earrings

I hope this helps you see how shoes affect an outfit’s overall look. Small tweaks can help us look less frumpy and still be comfortable.

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Beauty for the Heart™Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Ephesians 6:10

Timothy, my dear son, be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 2:1

Truth: In all three of these verses, strong is a verb. To be strong is to take action. How to we become strong? Like an athlete that trains for a race, we need to spiritually train to be strong by reading God’s word, praying, and encouraging each other.

Let your beauty shine from the inside out today!

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  1. Great explanation and visuals! I’m petite and fully agree with neutral shoes to lengthen the leg! I also think a lower vamp is more important on a darker or brighter shoe than it is on neutral ones. The darker sandals in your “don’t” pics all have a higher vamp in addition to being a darker color. The combination shortens the leg more than either the color or vamp alone.

  2. Great article, and visuals, the nude shoe/sandal in each example looked so much better for the dress. I need to keep this in mind as I normally will pull a black sandal or pump for almost everything. Have a blessed week!

  3. Thank you so much for a post on the topic of shoes. I no longer like to wear heels and I have often thought how my flat shoes are not the best choice when wearing dresses. I am such a visual person that it was helpful to see how different shoes change the look of the outfit.

  4. Shoes really do make or break an outfit! Thanks for the examples! I definitely stay away from frumpy shoes but will always choose comfort along with style!

  5. Thank you for the visuals, so helpful. I usually will pick a darker shoe to wear. The nude color really elevates each outfit. Also,Your Beauty from the Heart is what I needed today. Thank you for all you do.

    1. Thank you for sharing this today, and the visuals are amazing. Since I have started following your blog, you have changed the way I choose shoes to go with my outfits.

  6. Thank you for this “shoe” post! I always have a hard time with packing shoes for a trip. Making sure I don’t bring many and get comments from my husband on how many shoes I packed! Lol
    You’re so right…having a great outfit you feel good in and then ruin it with frumpy shoes! Thank you so much for the ideas. I just love your blog and your ideas!

  7. Beautiful! I like the practical looks and classic really. Thank you! I also love the color of your walls, what is the color if you don’t mind saying? Thank you!!! Love your content everyday 🙂

  8. I love shoes, always have but the pointy toes have become the issue for me the last couple of years. I need a bigger toe box or I’m in pain. Would love to see you do this same post to show more elevated stylish options that aren’t pointy -somthing round toe perhaps that still works.

    1. This is 100% accurate, Cindy!
      Shoes definitely make or break an outfit! If I find a shoe that is comfortable and stylish, I buy it in both black and nude. That goes for boots and booties, too! Great post!

  9. Love this post! I’ve learned from you regarding neutral shoes to elongate your legs. I’m very short and this advice has truly helped me!! Thanks for sharing the comparisons!!
    Happy Valentine’s Day❤️

  10. So…little confession. I don’t own a pair of neutral color pair of shoes. After seeing this I’m going to buy some! My favorite is the pant outfit with the lighter color shoe. Thanks Cyndi!!
    Happy Valentines Day❣️

  11. Because of a very bad fall, resulting in two different surgeries, i’ve lowered my heel height for the past few years. I look for slingbacks fashionable loafers now, kitten heels, and fashionable casual sandals. I find much more stability is there as I get older, but I can still be very stylish.

  12. Thank you! This was a helpful teaching method for me! The pointy toes are a challenge with my toes, Sarah Flint is a brand that works for me, albeit very investment oriented (expensive). Thank you again!!!

  13. I typed a message out in cyber space ,ha! Will keep this short. I am a shoe idiot !!! I am petite also. I loved the nude sling back with black pants. I am going to try that one !! Thanks for the visuals. Great help!!!

  14. This was a great post. I love the side by side pictures. I also really appreciate you showing shoes that come in a wide width!

  15. Cyndi,

    LOVE this post and total agree with it! I have size 10 feet so I realized that neutral shoes are almost always more flattering 😂. Also love the Beauty For the Heart. Well said!❤️

  16. As we age, I don’t think it is the height of the heel as much as it is other issues that older women have with their feet. As we age, our feet get flatter, wider, bunions, neuropathy, planters fasciitis, and foot pain. A wedge and higher heel often feels more comfortable, but it’s the toe box and straps that cause issues. The options are definitly limited for shoes to meet all of these issues.

  17. Great post. The dress is so cute on you. Love the nude shoes. I have the Naturalizer slingbacks in nude and black. They are very comfortable. Clark’s also makes comfortable pointed toe slingbacks and boots. I have 4 pairs of ankle boots, pumps and 2 kitten heel slingbacks. They’re all pointed toe and comfortable. I’m having plantar fasciitis right now and a heel actually feels better. The brand Vionic also makes comfortable stylish shoes.

  18. Cyndi,
    Thank you for your style suggestions!
    I’m in my 60s and find that a block heel now works best for me if I want a shoe with a heel. I have found Dream Pairs from Amazon are stylish, comfortable and priced so we can purchase more than one pair at a time without pinching the budget!
    Happy Shopping!

  19. Just can’t help it I picked the higher heel every time!! Of course I’m gonna go out like my Granny… in my heels!! Great options thanks for the post very helpful! Love your style always but really love your BFTH!

  20. Such great visuals! Thank you for doing this Cyndi. It’s so helpful to see the side by side comparisons.
    Have a blessed day.

  21. Cyndi, I couldn’t agree with you more about how shoes make or break an outfit. Like you, I’ve seen women wearing really pretty outfits and the shoes they chose just ruin it.
    I really like the shoes you chose for each outfit, it really makes a difference in how the outfit looks.
    Thank you for all your fashion inspiration and the scripture verses!

  22. Cyndi, thank you for the post. Even though I’m short, I don’t really care about elongating the look of my legs. But I do think that it’s the contrast between the dark shoe and your foot that draws your eye to the shoes and also makes the shoes look clunky, which is not what we want. Thank you for the side-by-side. You convinced me on the nude shoes.

  23. Hi Cyndi-
    Great post as I can’t wear anything higher than 2” block heel due to years of sports.
    I have a few pairs of the Naturalizer sling-back style and they are wonderful/ comfortable with dresses and pants. Great suggestion!
    I wear them to work all the time in spring, summer and fall.
    I struggle more with the late fall thru March with footwear for work.

  24. Cyndi! Thank you for taking the time to address this need and offer great options to help us look our best which in turn will help us feel our best!
    I have always been taught and matched the color rule, navy outfit, navy shoe, black outfit, black shoe. But now!! I’ll grab a neutral as you’ve visually shown the difference it makes! Also, your tone here is so very kind and helpful, no shame, no blame just great visuals and suggestions. This is why I’ve followed you for years, your heart shines through all you do! God bless and thanks! JH

  25. Happy Valentine’s Day! Great post! I haven’t worn heels much in the past few years, because I don’t feel comfortable in them at all. I’m 50. But STYLISH comfort is a must for me too! I completely agree with the neutral look for shoes with dresses. (and more) I’m looking forward to more posts with comfort shoes!

  26. Could you please tell me the colors you choose for both the sling back sandals? The lower and higher heel one. Two colors for each one are so close. Thank you. Great post. I too see too many woman ruin an oufit by the shoes they choose. But I also understand if they have feet problems and it’s hard to find comfort sometimes.

  27. Cyndi, I couldn’t agree more. I always follow your advice and recommendations on shoes. I also get complements all the time on my shoes. Thank you so much for all the great advice on fashion. I look forward to it every day. Thank you also for your Sunday focus that is also a huge inspiration!

  28. Thanks. I am short and I always thought I needed shoes to match my outfit. I had heard/read the comment about nude shoes enlongating legs. I could see the difference in your pictures. You saved me a lot of $$$.