Here's why Meghan Markle's shoes are two sizes too big

Meghan Markle may have stepped back from being a senior royal, but she's still a fashion queen. In 2019, fashion search platform Lyst identified Markle as the most influential celeb of the year (via the Independent) — at least as far as fashion is concerned. When it comes to fashion and style, Markle knows what she's doing.

If you pay any attention at all to the royal's outfits, you'll notice that it often looks like her shoes are simply too big. The Duchess of Sussex is always put together, so it's safe to assume that all of her fashion choices are deliberate — even her oversized shoes.

What's going on? Are shoes that are too big a fashion statement? Should we all be sizing up our footwear if we want to be on trend?

Meghan Markle wears shoes that are too big to protect her feet

It turns out that Markle wears her shoes a little too big sometimes not for the sake of fashion, but for the sake of comfort. Anyone who has ever spent the day in a pair of heels knows all too well the fatigue that can come from that constant pressure on your feet. After a while, your feet start to swell and rub against your shoes, causing painful blisters. When shoes are a bit too big, however, this doesn't happen. Larger shoes give your feet more space to swell up. You'll still be in pain, of course, but at least your feet won't blister.

It's not just Markle who is savvy to this fashion hack. "Celebs often go a size up, or even two, in the shoe department when they're at an event or on the red carpet and it's for one reason we can all relate to — to avoid blisters," fashion expert Harriet Davey told The Sun.

How does Meghan Markle walk in shoes that are too big?

While giving your feet room to swell in your shoes sounds like a genius (albeit painful) hack, it also seems a bit counterintuitive. When you walk in heels, you're already tempting gravity. How, then, does one keep their balance when wearing shoes that are two sizes too big? Markle isn't known for being accident-prone, so she's clearly keeping her balance somehow. How does she avoid tripping in her sized up shoes?

Rachel Story, the fashion editor for Hello!, revealed the secret celebs use to keep their balance when they're wearing shoes that are too big for their feet. "Some stars have been known to stuff the toe with padding like cotton wool," she said. "And then it can be taken out if you feel you need a bit more room."

Does wearing shoes two sizes too big actually work?

While this footwear hack seems to work for Markle, it's not exactly foolproof. Dr. Miguel Cunha, a podiatrist, told Bustle that it's always best to wear shoes in your correct size. "I do not recommend wearing shoes that are too big," said Cunha. "Proper fitting shoes provide a proper platform for our feet to support our body. Shoes that are too big means you will be accommodating the improper fitted size in a dysfunctional way and can lead to foot problems."

He warned that shoes that don't fit properly could not just cause blisters and bunions, but also lead to more serious foot problems. "A heel that is too big may equally pose the same amount of problems as a heel that is too small," said Cunha. "Heels that are too big can also cause friction that can result in painful blisters, callouses and corns to form, especially on the back of the heel as the foot slides back and forth with every step. The constant rubbing of the back of the shoe against the heel can be painful and annoying. The blisters may also become infected and lead to even greater complications."

Ouch.

Queen Elizabeth has a different shoe hack

The best thing to do to avoid issues seems to be to wear comfortable shoes that have already been broken in. Of course, breaking shoes in takes time, but it seems at least one royal has found her way around that.

Stewart Parvin, a fashion designer who has worked on Queen Elizabeth's wardrobe for more than a decade, told the Evening Standard that she has someone break in all her new shoes. The person who breaks in her shoes reportedly does so wearing a pair of cotton ankle socks, and is only allowed to walk on the carpet while breaking in the footwear.

"The shoes have to be immediately comfortable," said Parvin, adding, "The queen can never say 'I'm uncomfortable, I can't walk any more.'"