Here are our 10 top proven tips and tricks to help make your high heels more comfortable. Try these on for size!
We’ve all been there: we’ve left the house feeling like the epitome of glamour in our new heels only to end up a hobbling hunch-back within an hour — or one hour, six minutes and 48 seconds to be exact.
Of course, none of this comes as a surprise. We all know heels hurt and they’re bad for us — causing corns and callouses, bunions and back pain — but we still wear them. So what can we do to lessen the pain?
Stepping into a pair of high heels makes us feel more confident and walk taller — literally. But there are ways to make it easier.
Here’s our guide to high-heel heaven . . .
1. Buy the Right Size
This might seem obvious but heels that are even a touch too large or small can affect your comfort. Small heels create areas of pressure and can be extremely uncomfortable, especially if you have any foot swelling due to heat or change in elevation. Heels that are too large can cause rubbing and blisters. So, it’s of utmost important that your heels fit properly. This may mean that it’s better to put those “half-size too big” kicks back on the clearance rack.
2. Stick to Round Toes
Pointed toe heels seem to come in and out of fashion, but if you have frequent problems with uncomfortable heels, it’s best to avoid the pointed or oddly shaped toes. Round-toed heels are more contoured to the natural shape of your toes, thus are bound to extend the amount of time you can wear those heels.
3. Break Them In
You know your favorite old pair of heels, the really comfortable ones? Yeah, that didn’t happen overnight. When you buy a cute new pair of heels, it’s always tempting to wear them out immediately. Hold up, cowgirl. If you have frequent problems with foot comfort when wearing heels, try easing your way in. Don’t go out and wear them to a four hour event or a full work day. Start with walking around the house for an hour or wear them to the grocery store to break them in slowly.
4. Tread Lightly, Girlfriend
We know, we know. You’re always in a hurry. But if you are able to slow down and use your leg muscles more as you step, you’ll have more control and less weight will fall on those aching feet of yours. Another tip is to take smaller steps. Larger steps put more pressure on your feet and can cause those aches and pains.
5. Get Them Stretched
If you’ve bought a pair of heels that is too small in a certain area, consider having them stretched to make them more comfortable. A simple way to stretch them at home is to put a sandwich bag of water in them and putting them in the freezer.
6. Use an Insole
You can purchase a regular “one-size-fits-all” insole, typically made of gel that conforms to your foot so that the insole could alter the fit of the heel, potentially shifting the hot spots to different areas and not solving the underlying issue.
7. Tape Your Feet
There is a strange trick that we’ve heard works to make your high heels more comfortable. Apparently, taping your third and fourth toes together not only prevents toe rubbing but makes the shoes more comfortable overall. The science: Apparently at the base of the 3rd & 4th toes is where the nerve splits thus causing pain more easily particularly at the balls of your feet. Also, wearing high heels or ill fitting shoes causes the bone to rub against the nerve or place excessive pressure on the ball of the foot.
8. Take the heel test
Take the high heel test: Stand on the floor in your shoes with your knees straight, but not locked. Try to raise yourself on your toes so there’s at least an inch of space under the heels. If this is not possible, your heels are too high and not appropriate for you. Practice walking at home before taking your heels out.
9. Massage Your Feet
When you are done wearing your heels, spend a few minutes giving yourself a foot massage. Use a tennis ball and massage under your foot in a few different directions. This not only helps loosen muscles and fascia, but can also improve the sensitivity of the sole of your foot for better balance.
10. Finally, always keep a pair of flats handy to put on before your body starts screaming for help! Take care of yourself. Remember that walking in heels is a skill and requires you to move with your whole body. Take a movement class that can help you become more aware of how you move and develop the right tools to walk easier and more elegantly.