If you are anything like me, you love the look of sky-high heels, but your feet don’t always love how they feel. Still, you are not willing to give up the glamour and the silhouette of stilettos in favor of more “sensible” shoes. Is there any way to fix this dilemma? Thankfully after years of trial and error I have found that there definitely is.
Whether you are wearing them in the office or after hours, there is no doubt that high heels look amazing. But if you want to avoid the health hazards associated with heels, such as bunions, hammer toes or painful neuromas (yuck), you have got to be smart with your shoe choice. You must also be willing to invest a bit of money and time to ensure that when you step out heels, you’re not also stepping into potential trouble.
Tips to make Heels Comfortable:
Invest in Good Stuff
You don’t have to empty your bank account to buy Jimmy Choos, but you shouldn’t go totally cheap where your footwear is concerned, either. By making the financial investment in good shoes that feature good quality materials and expert workmanship, you will save money over the cost of continually replacing low-quality shoes.
Walking in stilettos that fit well can already be a challenge. But walking in ill-fitting stilettos is torture that can result in permanent damage to your feet. Good quality shoes sold by reputable brands are more likely to fit well. By purchasing well fitting shoes, you will also spare yourself pain and potential expensive visits to the podiatrist.
Prepare your Shoes for Actual Wear
Just as your clothes fit better when they’ve been altered to fit your actual proportions, your shoes will fit better and feel better if you cushion and customize them with padded insoles and shields to protect the balls of your feet and the backs of your heels. To determine where padding and alteration is needed, wear your shoes for an hour once you take them home from the store. Make a note of where you feel pressure or rubbing and purchase cushioning for those areas.
The last thing you want is to take a tumble wearing stilettos. To prevent that from happening, scuff up the soles to provide a bit of traction. You can also purchase grip soles to apply to the bottoms of your shoes. Be sure that you don’t intend to return your shoes before you do this, however, as the store will be highly unlikely to accept them.
Practice Makes a Perfect
Walking in high heels is an art form. You don’t have to pretend you’re on the catwalk, but a modified version of the model step is a good approach. To acclimate your muscles to the long-legged model stride, practice walking in your shoes in the privacy of your own home. Practicing yoga can also help to strengthen your core muscle and adjust your sense of balance so that you can wear heels gracefully. All that practice will also help you “fake it ’till you make it” – you will look great once you step out in public wearing your heels even if you feel silly at first.
Give a Break to Your Feet
Just because Carrie from Sex and the City wears heels 24/7 doesn’t mean that you have to…nor should you try. Instead, vary the heel height of your shoes from day to day. If you must wear stilettos for several days in a row, give your feet several days off as soon as possible. Walk around the house barefoot. That will help stretch your calves in addition to giving your feet a break from the strain of wearing heels.
You can also give your feet a break during the day. Try to wear flats on your commute to work, whether you are driving or taking public transportation. Once you are in the office, try to sit as much as possible to give your feet a break.
If you like the look of heels but need a bit more support, consider platforms or wedges. Your legs will look just as great, but the balancing act is not nearly so difficult. Boots with a chunky heel are another alternative to stilettos that looks great with skinny jeans and skirts.