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How Should Pointed-Toe Shoes Fit?

Posted by Christine Reicker on

Women who have never worn pointed-toes shoes think that they must hurt. I've had men tell me these shoes look painful to wear. These assumptions are understandable. If one takes a quick look at a shoe that ends in a point, it's logical to deduce that toes will be squished together in that pointy part.

While this might have been true decades ago, modern pointed-toe shoe manufacturers design the pointed section of the shoe so that it extends beyond the tip of the toes. The half-inch or inch (or more on some shoes) of the pointed-toe shoe is "empty."  Its function is to give the shoe a pretty or sexy look.

That said, a pointed toe-shoe does narrow from where the toes begin toward the point, whereas a rounded-toe shoe almost maintains its width from where the toes begin and where they end.

So, how should pointed-toe shoes fit?

As with any shoe purchase, sizes might differ among shoe designers and manufacturers. Always try on the size you usually wear, but be prepared to go up or down in size. In my recent experience, I've had to go down in size when buying pointed-toe shoes. I don't know if the shoe industry is making their shoes bigger so that a woman can say she wears a smaller size, or if this phenomenon pertains only to pointed-toe shoes.

Regarding fit, when the entire toe "box" (the part of the shoe where your toes are; it's called a toe "box" even if it's round or pointed) is made larger, you might have "toe cleavage." Toe cleavage is when the spaces between your toes show a little bit. This type of design will be the most comfortable type of pointed-toe shoe. Why? Because these shoes have long toe boxes, they are generally also wider in the toe box than a shoe where you don't have toe cleavage. I happen to think toe cleavage is a little sexy; some women don't.

ic: An example of toe cleavage

Do you have to break-in pointed-toe shoes?

When you are walking around the shoe department to see if you like a new pair of shoes, they can be a little snug (to allow for some stretching), but if the shoes are already uncomfortably tight or too small, they most likely will not stretch out enough to someday fit comfortably. If the pointed-toes shoes you are trying on are too tight, try going up a size. This should do the trick.

Pointed-toe shoes fit almost like rounded-toe shoes except that they narrow a little from where the toes start to the tips of the toes.

If you have wide feet, and the shoes do not come in larger widths, then you can try going up a size to see if that helps.

What about those shoes where the pointed-toe section is really long?

Pointed-toe shoes that have toe-boxes that extend an inch or more beyond the tips of the toes will require an adjustment period. It might feel as if you are wearing shoes that are too big---indeed-these shoes will be longer than your rounded-toe shoes and athletic shoes.

They should fit nicely in the toe area. The exaggerated point in the black pump below is well past the tips of the toes. Walking in a shoe that is up to two inches longer than your foot will require some getting used to.

ic: Pointed-toe section extends over 1" beyond her toes

In sum

Most pointed-toe shoes are designed so that the pointed-toe section extends beyond the tips of the toes so toes are not crammed inside the pointed part of the shoe.

If you have wide feet or bunions (another topic of discussion), find out if the shoes you like come in a "wide" width, and you can enjoy this style of shoe comfortably.

 

Photo Credit: Woman Shoe Shopping by Alexandra Maria via Pexels

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