High-heeled shoes are undeniably feminine and sexy and make a woman’s legs look amazing! However, any high heeled shoe wearer will tell you that there is often one giant downfall to wearing these little wonders – the pain! Most of the time wearing high-heeled shoes will cause, at very least, a little discomfort. For some women it can be downright painful! Women have wondered continuously throughout the years one question – is it possible to wear high heeled shoes without pain? Well, there are certainly many ways to decrease the pain of wearing high heels and here are 10 of them.
1. Get The Right Size Shoe
If you have ever gone to buy a proper running shoe you know that there are different types of feet. Wide versus narrow; high arch versus flat foot; and pronation (over or under) which is the way your foot moves and which side you put the most pressure on. A proper shoe fit for a runner’s shoe is essential to get the right support and to decrease pain and possibility of injury. For high heeled shoes this is just as important. When shopping for ANY shoes, it is essential to get firstly, the correct size and secondly, the right type of arch for your foot. If you have a high arch, and cannot find a high arch shoe, then insoles with an added arch will be your saving grace. If you have a wide foot (the actual width when pressure is placed on the foot) then you will need a wide high heel, or the shoe will be tight and likely pinch different parts on your foot. Conversely, if you have a narrow foot, but a wide width shoe, the shoe will gap and come off the heel and could cause tripping or ankle weakness. Serious business finding the right shoe.
2. Pick The Right Heel Type
High heels come in a variety of types. Chunky heel, thin heel, stiletto heel, kitten heels (short 2 or less inches), pumps, strappy heels, wedge heels, cone heels, spoon heels, platform heels, cork heels, French heels, comma (yes, like the punctuation) heels, and fantasy (stripper) heels. That right there are a whole lotta options ladies! All of these heels are different heights, widths and styles. Some work better with pants or short skirts, others work with longer dresses or skirts. However, picking the right TYPE of heel for your height, weight (yes, I said it) and balance is what is optimally going to cause the least amount of pain. If you have balance issues – go for a SHORT (kitten) heel. If you are going to stand in one place for long periods of time, maybe pick a wedge heel or platform heel. If this shoe is for naughty time only – then fantasy heel it is! The right heel type makes all the difference.
3. Foot Coverage Is Important
High heeled shoes come in different styles too – from boots, to pumps, to strappy-sandal-type heels, to peep toe. The more support your overall foot has around it (on the top and sides) the more stability your foot will have and the less likely you will experience pain. So, while you may love the look of that strappy sandal heel, it will likely be causing some pain.
4. Prep The Shoes
There is not a woman alive who can put on a brand-new pair of heels and walk around without pain. You need to prep your shoes prior to wearing out and about. This means wear them in the house, make dinner in them, sit around with them on. If they are a bit tight wear a slim pair of socks under them (just make sure they are not too thick!) Sit and bend them while watching the nightly news by grabbing the toe and bending it inward. In short, get the shoes more pliable and less stiff.
5. Invest In Dr.Scholls
I am confident you have seen the commercials for the little inserts that will cushion and provide extra support for your feet. Ladies, these are a godsend for high heel wearers. Adding just a little extra cushion to the bottom of your feet can reduce pain and foot fatigue (yes, that is a real thing). You can pick up special versions made especially for high heels at most drug stores. Or, if you have a podiatrist, he / she can make you special custom ones.
6. Use Deodorant On Your Feet
This is a trick that fashion divas have been using for years – put some run of the mill deodorant on any part of your foot that a strap or part of the shoe will touch (except the bottom of your foot.) The deodorant acts as a buffer against painful chaffing.
7. Tape Your Toes
No, not TAP, TAPE. As in medical tape. Tape your third and fourth toes together and this substantially alleviates some pain. There is a nerve that contributes to foot pain from shoe wearing, especially high heels, and forcing these two toes to become best buddies has been shown to at least minimize this pain.
8. Take A Break
Hey girl, you CAN take the shoes off during the day or change shoes when your feet hurt! Don’t think that you have to commit to a full 10 hours of wear when you have on your heels. Sitting at your desk? Take em off! Riding on the train to work? Use gym shoes for the commute. Change your shoes, remove your heels, give your feet a break whenever possible and you will reduce pain tenfold.
9. Make Sure You Can Walk
Listen ladies, high heeled shoes are, well, shoes. This means they serve you no purpose if you cannot actually walk in them. Not just walk either but walk correctly. Walking awkwardly on high heels means you either have the wrong heel, the wrong size or, simply, you cannot walk in heels. If you continually walk in heels incorrectly or stiffly this will change your entire posture and can lead to back, neck or knee issues which all are painful as well. Learn to walk in high heels correctly and without awkwardness. If you find yourself wobbling around or find your back aching, then find a different pair of shoes.
10. Splurge For Leather
Shoes are made from a variety of materials, from plastic, to faux leather, to even suede. After much research it has been discovered that a leather sole is more pliable and allows your foot to move around in the shoe more evenly. Leather soles may cost your pocketbook a bit, but at least it will save you some pain.