Shoe Guide: Don’t Get the Wrong Sho

Shoes are not only a necessity, they can also play a big role in the personal style statement you put forward. Different types of shoes can be both practical and fashionable, and come in a wide range of styles that are appropriate for numerous occasions.

As you shop for shoes, you'll want to ask yourself a few questions to determine which pair is right for you.

>> Consider your reasons for purchasing new shoes

There are many reasons to shop for shoes, whether it is just for fun or for a specific event. When purchasing shoes, the first thing you need to address is where will you be wearing the shoes. If you are buying the shoes for a special occasion such as a wedding or formal party, you might want to consider purchasing shoes such as heels for women or leather dress shoes for men.

Shoe designs for the office are usually dressy, but a bit more conservative than special event shoes. Athletic shoes, though casual and ideal for exercising or training, can also work well as an everyday shoe, though they are not a suitable choice for a formal event.

>> Consider comfort

Perhaps one of the most important considerations when purchasing a pair of shoes is comfort. Shoes should fit your feet properly to ensure premium foot comfort and total body harmony. Athletic shoes should have sufficient padding to cushion your feet from impact when you exercise. Shoes worn in a professional environment should also be comfortable, regardless of style, since you may be wearing them all day.

>> How to choose a shoe style

As you shop for shoes, you'll notice the nearly unlimited variety of style and color options available.

Women's shoes come in a number of unique designs varying from casual to professional to dressy. Shoes for women are typically offered in full and half size versions that range from sizes 5 to 12. For a more custom fit, shoes are often available in three widths -narrow, average and wide -to help you achieve your best fit.

Sandals and wedges are both popular warm-weather styles in women's shoes, while boots and booties are favored choices for the cooler months. Athletic shoes come in fun styles and colors and can be worn year-round as casual, everyday footwear or gym wear. High heels are popular for everything from work to casual wear. Flats are a great alternative for women who don't want to wear heels but would still like a dressier, more professional look.

Men's shoes are also available in an array of styles with small detail contrasts such as heel height and toe shape. Athletic shoes are one of the more popular styles of men's shoes in that they can be worn on a regular basis and complement nearly any casual look. Athletic shoes pair well with jeans and a sweater or with athletic shorts and a t-shirt. Men's dress shoes can be made from an array of fine materials such as leather or suede. For men's leather shoes, black and brown are the more common colors, and both are popular choices to wear in a professional setting.

As you shop for shoes, you might notice many children's shoe designs are simply scaled down versions of adult shoes. Though they're made for kids, children's shoes are often as high quality and fashion-forward as adult shoes.

Girls' shoes are essentially the same as those that are created for women. Young girls' shoe styles include pumps (usually with a low heel to accommodate their walking patterns and height), sandals, flats, boots and athletic shoes.

Boys' shoes come in styles similar to men's styles and are available in a variety of materials in scaled down sizes. Boys can wear dressy and casual styles depending on the occasion, such as leather dress shoes for holidays or special events and athletic shoes for play. Children's boots are perfect for rainy days or the wintertime and keep kids' feet warm and dry when they play outside.

>> Different shoes for different purposes

Some types of shoes might be better suited for daily wear, while other styles might fit in more appropriately in a work environment, or on the dance floor.

For casual daily wear, many people like the look and feel of athletic shoes. Often constructed of durable yet breathable fabric, athletic shoes are flexible and offer extra support for those who are on their feet much of the day. Athletic shoes are great for running errands, walking around the neighborhood or hitting the gym for a workout. Some styles have more advanced materials, features and soles that serve to enhance physical performance. Athletic shoes come in many fun styles and color combinations, so you are sure to find a pair that fits your style and budget.
Many people who spend a good portion of their days in an office setting might consider investing in several styles of workplace-appropriate footwear. Professional shoes might be crafted from leather or other high quality materials. Professional shoes should be close-toed in order to maintain a conservative appearance in the office. For women, a heel of two inches or less is generally accepted as workplace-appropriate, though higher heels are acceptable in other workplaces. Many men enjoy wearing leather dress shoes such as oxfords to work.

>> Care and accessories for your shoes

When looking at how to buy shoes, you want your new favorite pair to be able to stay with you for a long time. Many accessories and products are available to help keep different types of shoes in like-new condition. For athletic shoe styles, you can replace laces with a variety of assorted colors and lengths to keep the look fresh. For leather shoes such as loafers or oxfords, you might want to consider investing in shoe polish to keep your new shoes free of scuffs and protected from the elements.

With attention and care, your new shoes are sure to carry you from day to day in style and comfort.

Shower Seat Guide: Don't Get the Wrong Shower Seat

Showers are relaxing, but when you take a bath, you get to sit down and really rest. Now, you can have the best of both worlds when you buy a shower seat.

>> Why do you need a shower seat?
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There are a variety of reasons to get a shower seat, other than sheer convenience. Shower seats and benches are key items in bathroom aids and safety for both the elderly and those with physical disabilities, whether temporary or permanent. You need to determine your reason for purchasing a shower seat in order to choose the best shower seat for your particular needs. If you are shopping for a shower seat for the elderly or for someone with health problems, you will want to take into consideration the shower seat dimensions, the shower seat size, the size of the space you have and the person who will be using it. Another important consideration related to who will be using the shower seat most frequently will be the location of the shower seat as far as height is concerned; you will want to make sure it is not too hard to sit down on or stand up from.

Other things to keep in mind when you are designing your space, buying a new shower seat or adding shower benches, will be whether you have an inward-or outward-opening shower door, the location of the shower bench related to the water flow and drain and the desired shape of the seat.

>> Consider the types of shower seats

Shower seat designs range from built-in and freestanding to wall-mounted. There are many incentives to each of these choices, but the best shower seat for you will depend on your personal preference. Maybe you are designing your home or remodeling your bathroom. This is an opportunity to really use your imagination and add designer features such as built-in shower seats or benches. These shower seat designs come in a variety of sizes, shapes and materials that can be incorporated into your remodeling plan from the get-go.

Freestanding shower seats can be placed wherever you like in your preexisting shower and removed at any time. These seats require no actual remodeling or carpentry to your bathroom, and can be extremely affordable. These freestanding shower chairs also allow you to choose the size you need at any given point in your life and make a change easily if necessary.

Wall-mounted shower seats are a popular choice as they are always available but easily stowed out of the way when not needed. If you have a lot of space, a wall-mounted shower bench or built-in bench the length of the shower might be a perfect addition.

>> Consider the shape of the seat

When choosing the best shower seat for your project, you will want to consider the shower seat size as well as its shape. Maybe you want a corner-only seat, a chair or possibly just a flat surface. Depending upon the space you have, you may need to consider a corner seat as it will take up less room than other shower seat options.
Another good choice for limited space when you buy a shower seat is a chair because it can be removed easily when not in use. You will want to make sure, however, that you have enough room to get in and out of the shower door as well as room to maneuver around in the shower while using the chair.

>> Consider materials

When you are choosing the best shower seat for your needs, you will want to consider different materials such as plastic, rubber, metal or even wood. Teak wood shower chairs are a popular choice due to their comfortable, water-resistant nature as well as the fact that teak wood shower chairs look stylish and unique. Plastic and rubber shower chairs are a well-liked option due to their lightweight components and slip-resistant legs. Metal is easy to keep clean and can be lightweight as well, so this is also a good choice depending on your preference.

>> Consider features of the seat

A shower seat is no longer installed solely for home health care or considered to be simply one of the many health products that sometimes must be bought for medical reasons. If you approach your quest to buy a shower seat as though you are shopping for a desired accessory, it can become a fun endeavor with a variety of choices to consider. Shower seat features include types of handles, whether the chair will have a back or not, number of legs, storage options, safety features and whether the chair or bench is retractable or folding.

Depending on the person who will be using the device most often, you will have the option to choose right-or left-handed seats if applicable. You will want to make sure that you get the best shower seat with the most durable and secure handles possible. Shower seat handles can be on the side of the seat or can be upright so they're easier to grab. They also can come in various sizes.

Sometimes the best shower seat for your needs will be the one with built-in storage in the form of a shelf under the seat. This will allow easy access to your bathing accessories such as soap, washcloths and the like. Shower seat dimensions will influence the number of legs you will want your seat to have, and whether you would like your shower chair to be freestanding, retractable or permanently situated in a specific location.

Research shower seat designs, measure your space carefully and consider the individual needs of the person utilizing the seat most often to ensure you choose the best shower seat.