05/02/2012 10:08 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

'And She Walked Happily Ever After'

How to Customize Your Shoe Wardrobe and Make Them More Comfortable

Since most women are slaves to fashion, paying the price to look good is very costly and painful. Shoe designers design shoes to look good -- not necessarily to feel good. So whether you are wearing the latest peep-toe shoe styles, such as peep-toe pumps, slingback pumps, platforms, booties, wedge pumps, slingback sandals or flip-flops to kick around in, being able to customize and make your shoes more comfortable is paramount. For those professional women who have to go to trade shows for their work or are in sales and have to stand on their feet for long periods of time on hard, non-forgiving floor surfaces, by the end of the day their feet are screaming. The ultimate goal is to wear footwear without having to bring a spare pair of flats in your bag to save your feet from making you a cripple.

Shoe shapes are different than foot shapes

Fashion footwear that does not fit properly can result in many irritating and painful foot problems, especially for those who are on their feet for long periods of time. A shoe that is worn strictly for fashion reflects how stylish one wants to look at any cost and comfort definitely gets lost in the translation.

There are specific parts of fashion shoes that commonly cause foot problems and are notorious for driving women to the podiatrist's office for help. The parts in question are the toe box, arch and the heel counter of the shoe. A toe box that is too narrow or shallow can be a major irritant to a foot that has bunion and hammertoe deformities. The lack of adequate support in the arch in a fashion shoes leads to tired legs or feet legs. Women who have narrow heels are challenged trying to find fashion shoes that fit their feet properly.

The reason for all these shoe issues is because "feet come in different sizes and shapes and shoes only come in different sizes."

Shoes can also cause the formation of corns on the top or in between the toes, the development thick calluses that form on the ball of the foot because of the height or slope of the shoe, and the formation of blisters because of slippage issues in the heel. Repetitive rubbing and friction is the root of the problem and when feet slide around in shoes, skin problems can occur on the tops, bottoms and the heels of feet. Once corns and calluses form, they get thick, becoming too painful and makes walking in shoes more difficult. Making a visit to the local podiatrist is a must to solve that problem.

Shoes can also cause low back pain, calf pain, arch cramps and muscle spasms because of the lack of arch support and the pitch of the shoe which can be very dramatic in some styles. Unfortunately, the arch of the foot was not designed to bend at such acute angles for long periods of time making walking or standing on hard floor surfaces very challenging. The muscles in the calf and arch of the foot eventually fatigue causing them to cry for help!

Customization of shoe wear and tips to treat the problems shoes can cause

It is easy to "walk happily ever after," because there are many over-the-counter foot products that one can buy to customize those hot, stylish, evil shoes in your shoe wardrobe and make them more comfortable to wear. To prevent irritation on the tops of your toes, line the underneath surface of the toe box with moleskin and it will reduce the friction, rubbing and corn formation. Callus formation on the ball of the foot can be reduced by adding a thin inner sole which should provide a soft friction -- free landing with every step. There are over-the-counter liquid medications that say they remove corns or calluses -- however, buyer beware because they can do more harm than good. These medications have strong chemicals in them that can be very caustic to the skin.

Over-the-counter arch supports that can be placed in the arch of the shoe or sandal are also helpful to prevent foot slippage, take pressure off the ball of the foot and eliminate arch cramps and muscle spasms. They can also keep the foot more stable in a shoe by preventing the arch from collapsing.

Placing moleskin in the lining of the heel counter may also prevent blister formation. If the problem occurs because the shoe leather is not soft enough to conform to the foot, try going to a shoe repair shop and see if they can spray a solution on the leather to soften or stretch it.

Finding a pair of shoes in your closet that will last all day on your feet without making you miserable is often a daunting task. Using these helpful tips can now make your life much easier.