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Your Stylist: Solving the peep-toe shoe problem when you’ve got a skinny foot

July 19, 2010 |  8:01 am

Resident Image stylist and market editor Melissa Magsaysay soothes your sartorial woes in the weekly Your Stylist blog column:

In this installment of “Your Stylist,” I pose my own sartorial dilemma and share with you the advice I received from a local expert.

Alexwang The peep-toe feature is everywhere, on shoes ranging from ankle boots to oxfords. While shopping this weekend, I couldn’t find a shoe that didn’t have a little chunk of material missing from the front. I am OK with peep toes, but my biggest problem is that I have a really narrow foot that begs for a front closure so my foot doesn’t slip down and my toes don’t go flying out for the dreaded and unsightly overhang. I’ve been shying away from buying a couple pairs of shoes this summer because of the peep-toe factor. What can I do to keep my foot secure and eagle talon toes at bay?

Shoe repair guy to the stars (literally -- he soles and repairs all the dancing shoes for "Dancing With the Stars") Cash Feschyan of Shoe Wiz in the Beverly Connection offers these comforting words of wisdom. “You can do one of two things to avoid this problem,” he says “put halter pads [shoe lingo for the insert that fits under the ball of the foot] under the ball of the foot to push the feet back so the toes don’t come out the front too much. Or put in an arch support, which will also keep the foot back as well as add support.”

The issue, Feschyan adds, is that gravity inevitably takes its toll in a high heel shoe and two or three little toes come splaying out, plus there’s a gap in the back of the shoe where the heel is supposed to stay locked in place that always looks to me like I'm 7 and playing dress-up in my mom's shoes.

Feschyan recommends a German brand of shoe inserts called Tacco because they’re made from leather Peeptoe and rubber. He says the leather is comfortable and the rubber makes the foot stay in place.
For anyone who has a shoe where the shoe inserts may show, a cobbler can make an arch support or halter out of foam and glue them under the inner lining of the shoe, so that they’re totally out of sight, but still keep those toes back and off the ground.

Shoe halters cost about $12.99 and full arch support (which goes from the heel to the ball of the foot) is about $24.99. Feschyan also has a ¾ arch support that just fills the arch called an "arch cookie" that’s $18.99.

Having inserts stuck under the inner lining of the shoe costs about $15.

Shoe Wiz is located at 100 N. La Cienega Blvd., Suite 106, Los Angeles. (310) 657-5010.

Send your style queries

-- Melissa Magsaysay

Photos: top: A peep-toe bootie from Alexander Wang's spring/summer 2010 runway show/Alexander Wang, Bottom from top left - Elizabeth and James peep-toe bootie, $385/; Jean-Michel Cazabat, $348.30; Boutique 9, $190/; Old Navy, $24.97/Old Navy