Snazzy shoes that avoid pain in the feet for baby boomers

New York is gearing up for fashion week, and while many businesses are looking at what everyone will be wearing next spring, retailers are wrestling with the challenges of marketing fall flats that are comfortable but sexy to a generation that made the stiletto famous.

It's a complicated predicament. On the one hand, you have millions of people who grew up in the 60's who are now entering retirement with plenty of cash to spend. With the memories of go-go boots and platforms still fresh in the minds of older Americans, most fashion designers make shoes that bring on the bunions for these customers – but why? Even the aging boomers who swore by their stilettos are starting to change their tune.

"When a woman puts on a pair of shoes in the morning, she's making a commitment that's going to last all day," Kenneth Cole recently told Elle magazine. Although younger women typically consider their shoes just another accessory to their outfit, us older ladies know that a shoe's primary function is to protect our feet from the elements. Although the boomers may have perfected the art of running in heels or spending an eight-hour day in the office in stilettos, seniors are looking for hot footwear options that aren't going to leave their dogs barking at the end of the day.

The key to optimal foot health for us ladies is buying shoes that are fit in our heel, have a wide toe box and provide excellent arch support. If you buy shoes that are too small or tight on your toes, the metatarsal bones in your toes will hate you for it later. Everything from bunions, corns and blisters will rear their ugly heads and make a simple walk in the park an agonizing experience.

However, buying shoes that are too large are also potentially dangerous as well. According to Forbes Magazine, Meryl Streep's famous tumble in her Jimmy Choo pumps to receive her British Academy of Film and Television Arts award was caused by shoes that were too big. And, NYC cops are now investigating the death of a woman who died after falling down the stairs due to "really high heels." Who would have thought that foot problems would have caused something like that?

If you can't help but show off your gorgeous gams, there are foot-friendly options that have height but still offer more cushion and arch support. Wedges, kitten heels and lower, chunky-heeled shoes are all making a fashion comeback and keep your feet happy.