By Cindy Weber-Cleary
Updated Apr 14, 2016 @ 7:30 pm
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I have always loved the look of a feminine shoe. There is nothing more flattering to your leg than a pointy-toe pump with a skinny high-heel. Standing in front of the mirror in shoe departments, I fell for them again and again … only to realize, months later, that they ended up spending more time gathering dust in my closet than on my feet. Pinched toes, aching arches, blisters can really take the wind out of your sails.

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So, imagine my delight to discover the comforts of a current shoe trend: the strappy sandal with a sturdy block heel. You get the leg-lengthening benefit of added height, but instead of having all of your weight funneled onto a heel the size of a pencil eraser, it’s distributed evenly on a chunky solid column. Your toes are free to align naturally as opposed to being jammed in. If you are looking to add some serious inches to your stature, try a platform style; the thickness of the sole offsets the height of the heel. Ahhhhhh.

Straps are a key part of the design as they keep your foot secure—and they also add a little frisson of sexiness. If you are concerned about “cankles” (the appearance of thick ankles), choose a shoe color that is close to your natural skin tone, so that the line of your leg is not broken. Thin ankle-straps are easier to pull off than thick ones in this regard. But if your legs are a favorite feature, feel free to go to town with lace-up styles and thick straps that have just the slightest suggestion of playful bondage. (Did I really just say that?)

These styles pair beautifully with everything from knee-length dresses to midi skirts to wide-leg trousers to cropped pants. I’m planning to invest in a few different styles to celebrate the advent of spring. It’s coming, I promise…

Shop the styles below:

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Loeffler Randall, $395; Prada, $695; Rebecca Minkoff, $195;

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Steve Madden, $80; Helmut Lang, $595; Chloé, $795;

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Michael Kors, $425; Paul Andrew, $795; Barneys New York, $295;

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Cole Haan, $170; Topshop, $85; Topshop, $48;