Mary Jane Shoes have been a fashionable form of footwear for many seasons now. In the most part they offer the advantages of a slip-on shoe in terms of refinement and elegance. At the same time they have the added benefit of a small strap over the top of the foot for added security. So, unlike a slip-on shoe which, by its very nature, needs to be a tight fit in order to prevent them falling off, a Mary Jane keeps the foot in the shoe by virtue of this strap and is therefore far more comfortable to wear. Also, for those wearers of slip-ons who find themselves having to 'claw' their toes in order to keep their shoes on Mary Janes are a great alternative. As a result they are extremely popular with children young and old as well as women.

Mary Janes shoes have in fact replaced the standard T-Bar that we all grew up with. However, just as with the traditional 'T-bar', it is still imperative when purchasing them for yourself or your daughter, that the fit is properly assessed before you wear them. As a footwear technologist for the past 12 years, I have witnessed this rise in popularity of Mary Janes. However I have also witnessed the detrimental effects that they can have on your foot if not properly fitted. Here I provide some tips on ensuring you buy shoes which best suit your foot.

If The Fit Is Wrong

The main feature of the shoe which identifies a Mary Jane is how low down they come at the front and top of the foot. If the shape and cut of the shoe does not fit the foot properly it can feel quite tight, so much so that in certain circumstances, you can actually see the shoe cut into the top of the foot. You may even see the skin and flesh 'bulge' over the top of the shoe. At first this can be uncomfortably and unsutely, but given time, this 'cutting' into the foot can actually cause damage in terms of blisters and open wounds which can leave a permanent scar.It is there since vitally important to adhere to the following principles when buying and fitting your new shoes.

7 Tips On Buying Mary Janes

  1. Get your child properly measured, ideally towards the end of the day when the foot is hotter and swollen (ie at their largest).
  2. If you or your child has a wide or deep foot then buy from brands that either offer width fittings or are sold as being suitable for wide, deep feet.
  3. If you or your child has a narrow or shallow foot, shoes still need to be fitted correctly as Mary Janes could still cut into the foot.
  4. Make sure you're wearing the correct socks or tights (if appropriate) that you would wear with the shoes as this will affect the fit too.
  5. When trying on a pair of shoes check how tight they are across the 'throat' or top of the foot by lifting the front of the shoe with your index finger. You should be able to pull and move your finger between the inside of the shoe and the top of your foot. Now wear the shoe for a good 5 minutes and walk around the shop or house. Re-check that you can insert your finger easily. If not then you probably needs a size up.
  6. After trying on the shoes for a few minutes take the shoes and any stocks or tights off and ensure there are no red marks on the foot. If you do see any red marks then I would recommend you choose a different size or width fitting and seek advice from the seller.
  7. When purchasing shoes on-line it is better to use good quality sites that offer you fitting advice and help with choosing from the different styles available. This will eliminate the risk and disappointment that your order will not fit correctly. Also check that you get a full refund if your order does not fit correctly.