The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Don’t Be The Barefoot Bride: Wedding Shoe Tips

Posted by on Monday, August 25th, 2014


We’ve all been to a wedding where sticky stocking feet leave their footprints around the dance floor. After a few cocktails, inhibitions are lowered and women decide that it’s better to go barefoot than risk a broken ankle or blister. It may be par for the course for wedding guests — or even bridesmaids — to toss their shoes by the wayside, but it’s terribly uncouth for the bride herself to engage in such behavior. The NY podiatrists at The Center for Podiatric Care & Sports Medicine can fix all your foot woes after the Big Day — and also provide a few tips for preventing common post-wedding pains.

wedding shoes
Being a barefoot bride may suit a low-key country wedding held on the grass, but it doesn’t work for every wedding, warn NY podiatrists. Image Source: (Michael Cover)

Why You Don’t Want To Be The Barefoot Bride

There are some wedding motifs that allow for a barefoot bride — such as destination beach weddings or rustic country weddings in the courtyard. However, there are cons to foregoing shoes in these circumstances as well. Think about it: do you really want to be rigorously scrubbing gastrointestinal-illness-causing bacteria off your filthy feet at the end of the night, rather than taking a quick, relaxing shower before celebrating your matrimony?

Besides, multiple people dancing and grooving barefoot can be a recipe for disaster. Foot ailments like plantar warts, athlete’s foot, and toenail fungus are more common than we think. A 2014 American Podiatric Medical Association survey of 1,000 people found that more than a third suffered from toenail fungus or ingrown toenails. Web MD reports that as many as 1 in 5 Americans have athlete’s foot fungus. Furthermore, an estimated 7 to 10 percent of adults have warts, including plantar warts on their feet.

“These organisms are found in the common environment,” according to Dr. Giuseppe Militello, an assistant professor of clinical dermatology at Columbia University. All these organisms need is a favorable climate to reproduce. They may get access inside the body through an entryway as seemingly innocuous as a hangnail, callus, or blister. Or they may reproduce once you slip your pantyhose back into a closed-toe shoe, which is just the sort of dank, humid environment where microorganisms like to thrive. Is it worth the risk?

Beyond that, think ahead to what you’ll be doing the week after your wedding. Dr. Crystal Holmes, spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association, explains: “Brides may think that since they’re only wearing their wedding shoes for a day, it doesn’t matter if the shoes make their feet hurt, but shoes that hurt your feet can cause long-term problems, and make existing ones even worse. Sore feet can put a damper on your wedding, reception and even honeymoon.”

NYC Podiatrist Tips For Finding The Right Wedding Shoes

1. Invest in more than one pair of shoes, including a pair of kitten heels. There’s no shame in having a pair of stilettos for pictures or just for the brief ceremony and then switching into a lower kitten heel that is much more comfortable later. Vogue lists unique and pretty heels that are one-inch or less tall, but still very stylish. You can also run a search at for wedding kitten heels. The designer Stuart Weitzman has shoes that are very popular and podiatrist-recommended for comfort and stability… if you don’t mind dropping a pretty penny. There are more affordable options listed on the site as well, though.

2. Plan ahead for foot comfort. The best thing you can do for your feet is to buy a few products that support your feet:

Toe Protectors: Even if you don’t have bunions, this comfy gel pad protects you in locations where blisters, corns, chafing, and calluses are most common. Corn pads are another option to protect your toes from getting too scrunched together and cut by your toenails.

Heel Liners: There are many different types of heel liners, from the slim, barely-there Dr. Scholl’s to the a snug sleeve that covers just about all of the heel in a closed-back shoe.

– Arch Supports: Support offered by Dr. Scholl’s or Foot Minders can “create both comfort and support” in shoes, according to The Huffington PostDoing calf stretches and strength-training exercises before the wedding day can also help support your arches throughout the night.

– Metatarsal Pads: The balls of your feet can go numb when too much pressure is placed on the nerves. Consider Foot Petals cushions for very slim shoe designs. Toe-kini pads may be used for shoes that are a little more covered. Pads designed with dancers in mind are usually a good bet. For more comprehensive coverage that includes the metatarsal pad and the toes, try a toe pouch if your shoes are closed-toe.

– Strap Covers: If your shoes are real strappy, we recommend using strap cushions to protect them from digging in and cutting your feet. Also, you’ll want to check your feet throughout the night to see how swollen they are getting and loosen the straps as necessary. Packing a few Band-Aids is a sound idea, just in case!

3. Look for material that breathes. Plastic and vinyl shoes are about the worst materials for your wedding night, as they offer no give whatsoever. Genuine leather will let your feet breathe a little more and can expand to accommodate swollen feet. Be sure to try on your wedding shoes at the end of the day when your feet are a little swollen to gauge the size.

NYC Foot Care

The Center For Podiatric Care & Sports Medicine in NYC can help you choose the right shoes and inserts for your special event. We can also create custom orthotics that mold to the shape of your feet and fit right into a variety of dress shoes for maximum comfort and protection from foot pain. We also employ a full staff of podiatrists, surgeons, and physical therapists who can treat your feet, whether you have nerve pain or bunions. Book your appointment today.


If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.