Never shop in the morning. Because feet tend to swell over the course of a day, shop for shoes in the evening when you can. Shoes that are uncomfortable even in the store are generally “a lost cause.”
Use a stretch spray. Leather, suede, and fabric can often be stretched using a shoe-stretch spray. Spray the shoes inside and out, and then wear them while they’re wet. If that fails, ask a cobbler to try. The pros know a few extra tricks, like how strategic stretching of the heel can sometimes remove pressure in the toe.
Blister prevention. When the back of a shoe rubs against your heel, try a heel grip—a suede insert that keeps the foot from sliding. The fit of the shoe can also be improved by adding an inner sole. But always choose leather: It’s thinner and more durable than the synthetics.