Every heelista knows that sometimes wearing heels can be a little uncomfortable and knowing how to make them more comfortable is so important! This guide will help show you how to wear your heels with a smile 🙂
Now you don’t need a Carrie Bradshaw-like obsession to know that a stunning pair of heels can elevate any outfit. It’s not a secret that a pair of pumps can transform an outfit from drab to casual chic. However, even the most beautiful designer stilettos can betray us by giving us blisters, sores, and massive amounts of discomfort by the end of the day.
The old adage is that “Beauty is Pain,” but is that necessarily true? Must we submit to the pain of torturous heels if we want to commit to a life of wearing fabulous heels?
Clearly not, as there are millions of people all over the world who have cracked the case to wearing heels pain free and with style, so here are 7 of my favorite tips on how to make wearing heels super comfortable.
1- Start with the Right sized Heels
By far the most important tip is to buy the right sized shoe. Your foot size can change throughout your lifetime, especially if you wind up having children, so it’s important to get them sized at least once a year. You can size them yourself by measuring the distance between your heel and your big toe, and then finding the closest measurement on the chart here. Take your measurements in the middle of the day, as that is when your feet are at their biggest. Make sure you measure both feet, and take the size of the biggest foot. If your measurements are between sizes, then you should always size up. Our Heelistas buying guide to high heels will also help you with this part in more detail.
2- Elevate your feet
Probably my favorite trick for wearing heels all day, because I’m in a perpetual state of “Treat Yourself.” Elevate your feet! A little science for you: Blood tends to pool at your feet. Since they are the lowest part of your body, and your circulatory system has to work against gravity. It makes your lower extremities prone to swelling and subsequent pain. Help yourself out by raising your feet a little whenever you have a chance to sit. This can be achieved by crossing your legs, or (if you’re fancy like me) you have a footrest at your desk. I happen to like one, and have it in my cubicle at work. A little elevation goes a long way.
3- Wear Heel Inserts
When I was younger I always thought that foot inserts were for old people, and those who had the misfortune to be born flat footed. Imagine my surprise when I was introduced to foot inserts by a girlfriend. They were made specifically for people who wear heels. They are miracle workers, especially if you wear high arched stilettos with zero platforms. It gives an extra bit of cushioning for the balls of your feet, and can make your shoes fit better if they happen to be a tad big. I like Dr. Scholl’s for close toed shoes, and for my open toed strappy heels. The second ones come in a nude color and are smaller so they’re not super obvious if they happen to slip out a bit.
4- The High Heel tape trick
The tape trick was popularized by 70s supermodel Marie Helvin. She was a runway staple and absolutely swore by this method. What you need to do is tape together your 3rd and 4 toes counting from the big toe. You can use bandage tape or a bandaid, but I prefer the latter as it’s easier to get off at the end of the day. Helvin insists that the reason why it works is because taping your toes together forces the muscles in your foot into alignment, and takes some of the pressure off the ball of your foot. While it isn’t a crazy miracle cure for aching heels, I do notice that I can wear my heels a lot longer than if I didn’t tape my toes together. Keep in mind that this trick is best when wearing closed toed heels, as your toes are covered.
5- Eliminate Friction!
Nothing ruins your high heels experience like sores and blisters on your feet.
Chafing is a serious problem. Not only is it super painful, but you can look like an amateur hobbling around on stiff legs, trying to avoid rubbing your heel against the back of your shoe. You’ve seen those girls, and I’ve seen those girls, and we do not want to be them. There are a couple of ways to prevent this problem: you can spray dry shampoo over your feet, or lightly dust them with baby powder to prevent unwanted friction. Personally, I prefer the dry shampoo as the baby powder can get a little messy. Another way to prevent friction is (as stated above) to get properly fitted shoes. If you shoes are a bit too big, then you can buy some heel inserts to make your shoes more comfortable.
6- Opt for Leather
Leather shoes make quite an impression, visually. What girl doesn’t like a pair of sky high, black patent leather, pointed toe pumps? It’s a classic and a must-have staple because they go with practically everything and everyone looks good in them. What you don’t know is that the soles of leather shoes hold the shape of your foot after repeated wear. That makes for a more comfortable fit,and is probably the closest you’ll get to a customizable shoe without forking over the money for it. If you’re opposed to shopping for leather, then opt for a vegan leather shoe. The material should mimic leather enough for you get a comfortable fit.
7- Opt for a Chunkier Heel
Chunky heels have been making a comeback in a huge way. What better way to stay on trend, and save yourself some foot pain, than to invest in some thicker heeled shoes? Thicker heels means that you have more square footage on the ground so it’s easier to balance. It’s a clever way to add some extra flair as well, since designers add statement designs to the back of the heel.
Ultimately, the one thing that you absolutely must have to successfully wear heels and look comfortable is a good attitude. Nothing can overcome confidence, and when you feel like you can conquer the world in your heels, then there’s a good likelihood that you can do just that.
None of the above works, maybe you need to break your heels in first.