ON Fashion/Special to AFN

Shoes are a necessity. You have to wear them. Some restaurants won't serve you unless you're wearing them. Comfortable shoes are a priority because shoes that are too small or don't fit well can cause bunyons, corns, blisters and pressure ulcers - medically known as "decubiti."

But shoes that fit well and look good are a winning combination of comfort. A perfect shoe is not a myth and it comes with compliments. Compliments are your verbal confirmation that you made a good purchase. Now the cost of the "right shoe" can be as little as $20 to as much as $1,400. So, how do you shop for the right shoes?

First, when you go to try them on, the first sense you use is sight. It has to look amazing, then you try it on to experience how it feels. Test the shoe. Walk around in them while you look around for a backup if they don't workout. If they pinch anywhere, are too tight, rub your achilles or squeeze while you're on your test run, they are not the shoe for you - no matter how cute they are or how reasonably priced. The goal is comfort and looks.

Now cost, which falls under budget sense. If you're shopping for designer shoes, here's the thing: You might have to consider a long-term plan. You can start by putting money away a little bit at a time, but here's the catch: Designer shoe salons like Barney's New York, get certain styles and colors. Sometimes they only get one or two of a certain size. So your savings window is narrow. It can be as short as a week, tops. Since there are three months between seasons, you can save during the winter for the fabulous spring collection. Save $50 a week for three months to get you $600 and a pair of stylish stilettos.

Affordable shoes, however, that are not defined by a label can also be comfortable and stylish. Places like DSW or a department store have great deals. Using the same three-month strategy; $600 goes a long way.

Doesn't splurging on you feel amazing?

ON Fashion lives in Ahwatukee Foothills, is married with two children, has modeled since age 10 and was a runway model for more than 15 years. She owns two businesses, is a seamstress, fashion designer and world traveler. Her fashion column appears twice a month in the AFN. E-mail questions to


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