NEED IT : Shoe Stuff Edition

Confession : I love shoes. Almost as much as I love makeup (maybe more!). (A girl’s got to play to stereotype sometimes.) And yet, sometimes my shoes fail me, the bastards. They end up being narrower than I thought, or they rub blisters, or they won’t stand up properly in the closet. Herewith, some stuff I love to help your shoes be their very best (OR ELSE).

Pedag cotton and sisal insoles : These. Are. So. Good. Cotton terry on top of a woven sisal pad! I think they’re supposed to offer some manner of odor control, but I use them in shoes that need a little more padding, or that have an unpleasant inner surface feel. Black doesn’t get NEARLY as manky looking as white does (plus they’re washable!), they’re nicely tapered to fit most girly shoes well, and sisal doesn’t start falling apart and crumbling after a few wears like so much of that foam stuff does. About $10 per pair on Amazon

Tuli’s gel heel cups : Two applications for these — 1) you’ve got a pair of shoes whose heel is so low (like Converse) that they actually make your calf muscles sore or 2) the top edge of your sneakers is so high that it whacks the hell out of your ankles with every step. These are A+ for both of those uses (in addition to, you know, providing padding/shock absorption) and since they’re heel-only rather than a full insole, they don’t make your shoes feel way tighter! I’ve got two pairs of these and I use them in a TON of sneakers, and in a couple pairs of boots as well.  About $14 per pair on Amazon

BandAid Tough Strips : FOREVER. Put ’em on before wearing your uncooperative shoes, and prevent blisters before they start. Best : if the place where you’re putting them is where a strap or the outer edge of a shoe hits, try to position them so that a little bit of the bandage is showing/outside that part of the shoe’s coverage throughout its range of motion. That way the constant movement of walking won’t allow the edge of the shoe/strap to grab at the edge of the bandage and loosen it. But still, these bastards stay on like no others — even after wearing them for HOURS, and even SWEATING, I still have to apply significant pressure to peel them off. After a shower. About $6.12 on Amazon but available everywhere. Just don’t get the “waterproof” version, which is garbage.

Shoe stretchers : Okay so the beige stretcher pictured above, I have no idea where I got that. The fuchsia one is Foot Petals brand, and it’s pretty good! (available on Zappos for $29). However sometimes the mechanism slips, and it doesn’t expand as well as it could, AND they’re sold singly rather than in pairs (wtf?). OTOH, the arch and curvature make it much easier than most to use on high heels. If/when I buy others, it’ll probably be this pair here  

Charcoal bag things : Obvs for deodorizing and moisture-absorbing to keep shoes non-gross. I quite like these, and they’re sold in pairs, AND their smaller narrower shape makes them easy to smoosh all the way down into toes of shoes, which can be handy for shoes that tend to lose their shape when sitting in the closet. Available on Amazon for $9.97 per pair.

Boot braces : Boots that won’t stand up on their own drive me NUTS. They all fall over each other in the closet like a pack of unruly drunks, and get unsightly bends and creases and ugh. These Cedar Fresh boot braces (which contain no cedar, but whatever) are SUPER EASY, and they’re perforated so you can tear them off (see the markings?) for medium or short boots, and obvs they’re easy to pack on a trip because they’re just thin plastic and they flatten right out. About $7 per pair on Amazon. Not shown in pic above : two-part tension ones fill the whole boot shaft just like your leg would, and are thus great for things that don’t want to keep their shape or are suuuuper thin and squashy — they’re $12.50 plus shipping, and note that they’re not adjustable, so they’re only useful for tall boots.

(This post contains Amazon Affiliate links! That means that any click-throughs that result in a purchase may also result in a tiny fee to PrettySuperb. Uh, or it least it should if I’ve set it up properly. OBVIOUSLY, we won’t ever, ever post links or flattering reviews for stuff we don’t actually genuinely like!)

Got any shoe accessories you can’t live without? Amazing insoles, ingenious storage contraptions? Tell tell tell!