How to choose wedding shoes? A confession from a barefoot bride

Hi, I’m Bára, and I’ve already had my wedding. A year ago I was where you are now. In the middle of planning things. I was probably also reading an article called “How to choose wedding shoes”. It recommended I go with heels, but I said “No way!”.

I chose burgundy barefoot ballet flats. This was my second-best wedding decision – right after my choice of groom. :) 

No blisters. I danced the whole wedding away. And that’s why I’m passing on my experience as a barefoot bride.

bride and groom making a toast

This is me and my husband. And now I’ll tell you why I decided to be a barefoot bride. :)

A word of introduction: What actually are barefoot shoes? 

Until not long ago, the word “barefoot” made me think of “frog-foot shoes”. But barefoot shoes can actually look like classic ballet flats. The only difference is that they have a wide toe box, they’re flexible and you can feel the ground beneath you through the sole. 

To me, barefoot shoes mean comfort. I’ve forgotten when was the last time my feet hurt in my shoes.

a bride in barefoot Ahisna sandals

Barefoot shoes can even look like this. Quite a difference from toe shoes, aren’t they?

Why do high heels and other wedding shoes make your feet hurt? 

Legend has it that a good pair of heels won’t make your feet hurt. And I’ve really tried to find “good heels” like this, but I’d probably be more likely to find a unicorn. Heels are the exact opposite of what satisfied feet need

  • They constrict and press the toes together.
  • They ruin your balance. 
  • They tilt the body forward. 
  • They change the tension in the body. 

The feet in heels are permanently cramped. Also, they’re usually so stiff that you can count on having chafed heels. 

Narrow ballet flats and sneakers have a lot in common with heels. A constricted tip, narrow toe-box and stiff materials. These simply aren’t comfortable shoes for a wedding.

A bride and groom in barefoot wedding shoes

High heels? No thanks. Enjoy comfort at your wedding.

“Slightly” uncomfortable wedding shoes = 18 hours of pain

“I can survive one day in high heels. It’ll just be a little uncomfortable.” 

It’s more than a little! Count along with me: 

The wedding day started around 10am. It ended at 4 in the morning. That’s 18 hours on your feet. 18 hours of dancing, joy and mingling with guests. 

Can you imagine that your shoes are just “slightly” pinching you for 18 hours straight or your feet hurt “a bit”? I can’t. I wouldn’t want to be walking among the guests thinking to myself “I can’t wait to take these off!”

This is your day. Yours and your partner’s. So enjoy it!

Choose traditions that suit you. Throw the rest away

A wedding bouquet didn’t make sense to me. Neither did getting married in a church. There were some traditions that we simply didn’t want at our wedding. And you know what? We’re grateful for everything that we did our way. 

You might be wondering whether you could put on something as “non-traditional” as barefoot wedding shoes. Of course you can! Make a wedding that’s all yours. And forget about anything that’s not you.

Bride and groom in barefoot wedding shoes

Choose only the traditions that suit you.

Which wedding shoes would I choose today? 

I wouldn’t mind having another wedding – but with the same groom, of course. :) What shoes would I wear? Below, I’ve selected 5 tips for barefoot shoes for the bride and groom. 

1. Ballerina shoes for a princess

In Ballerina shoes, I imagine a princess-bride in a fluffy dress. I’d choose these wedding shoes in traditional white, or maybe in burgundy.

Ahinsa red barefoot sandals lying on a wedding dress

Who says shoes for the bride have to be white?

2. Ribbon ankle-tie wedding sandals for a boho queen

I have my own pair of ribbon ankle-tie sandals at home and I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on them. I’d choose them as wedding shoes to go along with a shorter dress or an airy boho style.

A bride with ankle-tie Ahinsa barefoot sandals.

I get a lot of compliments for these shoes.

3. Hava sandals with straps for a natural wedding

A wedding in an orchard, forest or barn is just asking for simple and elegant sandals. If you have a wider foot like I do, you’ll love Hava sandals. The front strap is fixed to an elastic band and gives your foot the space it needs. 

A bride in Ahinsa barefoot sandals

Subtle and elegant sandals are great for a natural wedding.

4. Wedding ballet flats – just like moonlight

The silver version of these ballet flats looks like it’s made for fairies, doesn’t it? I have the same model at home in other colors and I love them. They’re super-soft, comfortable and nearly indestructible.

silver barefoot ballet flats from Ahinsa shoes

Ballet flats designed by physiotherapists will fit you like a glove.

5. Something for the groom

Even wedding shoes for the groom can be comfortable and beautiful. My husband wears these barefoot shoes. They’re ultra-soft, spacious and will last the groom another good few years. 

You can head to your 10th wedding anniversary in the same shoes that you chose.

Men's Comfort shoes

Looking for comfortable shoes for the groom too?

Can I get married in barefoot shoes if I’ve never worn them before?

Of course! But I do recommend selecting shoes for the bride that are suitable for barefoot beginners. You’re used to stepping down hard on the heel in classic shoes and you could hurt yourself.  

That’s why I chose Ahinsa ballet flats from the Comfort line. This line comes with a special insole that softens impacts

For beginners, Ahinsa sandals are also great. They have a slightly thicker sole that will have you stepping lightly.

A bride in Ahinsa ribbon ankle-tie sandals.

Ahinsa sandals have a soft sole.

How to choose barefoot wedding shoes that you can dance the day and night away in? 

  1. Buy ahead of time so you can try the shoes on and make sure they fit you.
  2. Measure twice before buying. Carefully check the size tables.
  3. Can you exchange the shoes for others? Make sure the manufacturer offers this
  4. No compromises. If your shoes are “pinching you a bit”, you’re going to be unhappy by the time the wedding’s over. 
  5. These are YOUR shoes. Everyone will be giving you advice, but only you know what you feel good in. 
  6. Soft materials. Anything stiff or hard means calloused feet, blisters and chafed heels.
  7. Don’t be afraid of colors. Who says wedding shoes have to be white?

I’ve got my fingers crossed for you to enjoy your wedding day from start to finish. From the morning preparations to dancing the night away. When you’re comfortable and calm, it’ll be a beautiful day – and that’s exactly the kind of wedding I hope you have.

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