Stilettos and pencil heels are making a massive comeback — and with good reason.
Moderate-to-high heels instantly make you look (and feel) taller, thinner and sexier but they can hurt like crazy.
So, would you take foot injections to make walking in heels easier? Me neither.
Instead, try these simple tricks on how to make heels more comfortable — then strut down the street (or aisle, or nightclub, or bedroom…) without hurting yourself. And look good while you do it!
Spritz the soles
How to walk in high heels sans the discomfort? A spritz of extra-hold hairspray on the soles of your heels will guarantee a slip-proof and catwalk-worthy strut every time.
Other options: scratch the bottom of your soles with sandpaper or head out to the driveway and start scuffing.
Use a pencil (an actual pencil)
Could it be that the only thing standing between you and those stilettos is…a number two pencil?
Podiatrists (foot doctors for the uninitiated) suggest foot exercises to maximise heel comfort.
Two to try: Picking up pencils with your toes and rolling a ball back and forth under the ball of your foot. Strengthening those muscles will make a long strut feel far less torturous.
Wear them out!
The Queen had an excellent trick up her sleeve on how to make heels more comfortable: She would have a member of her staff break in any new footwear by wearing them around the palace before Her Royal Highness stepped into them for a function.
Since we don’t have the same luxury, Camilla Morton, author of How to Walk in High Heels and A Year in High Heels has a great alternative: “Head to the supermarket, get a cart and go for a spin. As you stock up on groceries, use the cart for balance while your feet get used to the new high heel.”
No department store in sight? When you buy a new pair of heels, walk up and down the stairs 10 times. Stairs are the most difficult thing, so if you can that, you can do everything else.
Revolve your heels
And finally, if you are looking to make heels more comfortable, never wear the same pair two days in a row.
That’s because no two pairs of shoes are exactly the same. Each pair creates its own unique pressure points on your feet which, if worn two days in row, will begin to cause pain and discomfort.
So wear, swap and repeat.
Thanks for all your lovely tips. I just stumbled across your blog and enjoyed many of your other articles.
I am a primary school teacher (and at my current we are not ALLOWED to sit down during class) who wears heels on a regular basis. Everyone at my school is always asking me how I do it and I won’t feel bad about volunteering my information here because you did ask in that little orange note…
Well, like you alluded to, stability, strength and switching it up ARE important.
I personally try to never wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row because of what you mentioned. I must have something wrong with me because I have noticed that this rule applies to me even with flats. In fact, I had to laugh at the flip flop deal because one time, I ended up in tears because of how badly my feet hurt after walking around in slippers non stop for two days without rest as I prepared for a garage sale. So, I also try to alternate style and heel length.
Now when it comes to heels: if possible, when I try on new shoes in the store, I now try to do so with my sole inserts and toe pouches on as well. I have fairly small feet so it’s pretty rare if I can’t wear it with those in there but it does happen from time. You can’t just assume that you can stick those in AFTER a pair of shoes starts to hurt. If buying online, I check the return policy and I try to add in a little wiggle room (about 1/2 size) but not too much because I have a compressible foot so too much room will lead to corns and (I’ve heard) bunions.
I also regularly inspect my heels and replace the heel tips. This comes from knowing that I wear down my shoes “improperly” because I’ve been pigeon toed since childhood. I always make sure that the shoe stands up straight. Some shoes are poorly made and don’t do this from the beginning so they should be avoided.
I don’t bother with making sure things don’t slide. Those little stick-ons just make the shoe gross before falling off and the spray just makes random pieces of trash adhere to the bottom of the shoe. One walk outside on some sidewalk should be enough to rough things up.
I frequently (think at least once a week but once, when I recently moved, started a new job and had nothing but one pair of shoes, it became a nightly ritual for about 2 weeks) give myself pedicures: soaking and massaging my feet while trimming my toenails to be very, very short. I’m blessed with nothing but cartilage on my pinky toes and the nails on my second to last toes are rather soft.
Lastly and what I think is most important: know your foot type and what toe box best suits you. Those highly tapered or pointy toed shoes are made for Grecian feet, not peasant/Giselle/Roman feet and most definitely not Egyptian feet! Peep-toed shoes are usually best for Egyptian feet IMHO but the rounder ones are doable on a peasant foot. Round toes are best for peasant feet. Think about compressibility and birth-bunions too. I’ve got short, wide, fat, highly compressible, no-space-between-my-toes, almost peasant Egyptian feet. ^_^
world of mario says
That’s so beautiful. I agree with Qeen