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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

How To Make High Heels Comfortable

If I had $790 to spare and an extremely high pain tolerance, I'd be all over these Prada jeweled chain T-strap sandals.


Most days I'm a flats girl. A flat or a low heel lets me trek around the city and sprint after buses pulling away from the curb with relative ease, keeping my feet happy from my morning commute until I get home late at night post-salsa. Alas, the downside of wearing flats all the time is that when I do wear high heels I literally feel the pain.

Part of avoiding high-heel pain is choosing a pair of comfortable heels in the first place, and surreptitiously taking every available opportunity to stay off your feet. (If you've ever sat down after a long night of standing in stilettos you'll know what I'm talking about.) However, if neither of these are feasible options, there are tips and tricks flats-wearers can use to make high heels much more comfortable. These are some of the things that work for me. Enjoy!


Before
  • If you have the chance, wear brand new heels around the house for an afternoon. Not only will this help break them in, you'll notice minor nuisances (e.g. your feet sliding forward, blister points) before they become painful problems.
  • Do the balls of your feet hurt after a little while? Invest in a pair of insoles. Try the shoes on with the insoles in them and make sure your toes don't feel overcrowded.
  • Do your feet slide forward when you slip your shoes on, resulting in a gap between your heel and the back of the shoe? Try some heel liners. I prefer the gray Dr. Scholl's heel liners to the cushion-y clear gel ones because I find the glue on the backing to be better.
  • Put anti-perspirant on your feet. Sweat and moisture create friction and lead to blisters. Band-Aid makes an anti-blister roll-on, but in my experience plain old anti-perspirant works just as brilliantly.
  • Slip a Band-Aid or two in your purse just in case you experience problems with blisters or rubbing.
During
  • Take smaller steps! I'm so used to speed-walking and taking big steps when I'm in flats, boots, or sneakers that I have to re-train myself and change my gait whenever I wear heels.
After
  • Soak your feet in hot water, or better yet, draw a relaxing bath. Massage your tender tootsies.
  • Wear flats, or at least a lower heel, the day after. Your feet will thank you.
Are you one of those lucky gals who can wear heels all day every day in perfect comfort? Do you have your own tips and tricks for wearing heels comfortably?

45 comments:

  1. Hey lisa! =D I've got a little surprise for you on my blog heh.

    And wow did I need this post on making heels more comfortable. Unfortunately I'm kinda flat footed and I think getting this foot condition called Hallux Valgus (have you heard of it? Almost in the process of getting a bunion) which totally sucks. =(

    I never thought of getting insoles though but now I think they'd really help. Most of the time I'm stuck in flats too >< Just not the same feeling of chicness as heels in my opinion. Do you usually wear flats to work too?

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  2. I miss the days of wearing fabulous high heels and attending fashion events. Good thing I brought a few pairs for Tokyo Fashion Week! Things are just so expensive here. I am mostly a flats girl though too. Mind you everyone here wears heels so it's a bit impossible to find anything decent. Meh..maybe come spring. Can't wait. We had light snow today..serves me right! Thanks for mailing the letter I can't wait to get it !!

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  3. I wear heels more than is probably heathy for someone who is not yet fully done growing, and my knees tend to hurt afterwards. To counter act this, I try and wear something comfortable the next day, like boots with good arch support.

    Also, I tend to wear heels with an ankle strap so that my feet don't slid around too much. This doesn't work for everyone, but if you have long slim legs, it makes your shoes much more comfortable.

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  4. Great tips! I've also found moleskin to be a life-saver. Once you've identified problem spots, cut out a piece, stick it on, and you're instantly covered.

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  5. i wear heels as much as possible and my feet still hurt after standing around for awhile - aka clubbing. no matter how much i wear them, the balls of my feet just can't get used to them! it's so sad. i wish i was like carrie bradshaw and could wear heels all the time.

    another good place to break in heels is in the office - wear flats on your commute and change at work - you're not on your feet that much so hopefully they won't hurt.

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  6. Nice post! I usually add insoles to my heels, because I'm a wimp when it comes to heels. I completely agree with you about changing your walking pace. I walk pretty quickly in flats and need to consciously walk slower when in heels, otherwise I end up really hurting my feet.

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  7. Tis Serendipity, I usually wear flats or a low wedge or heel to work, especially if I know I'll be running lunchtime errands or it's a nice day out and I want to walk home. :)

    Rosie Unknown, I like ankle straps too for that very reason!

    Erin, I find that salsa dancing has really helped with helping me stand on the balls of my feet longer. When you're dancing, you're on the ball of your foot most of the time anyway. In fact, I'm thinking of buying new dance shoes with a slightly higher heel!

    To everyone else, great tips! Keep them coming. :D

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  8. This is such fab advice, L! Another post-heels remedy: do legs-up-the-wall (yoga) pose!

    xoxox,
    CC

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  9. Do they really work? Maybe it's worth a shot... I do love the look of heels but absolutely hate having to walk in them beyond the distance of car and venue.

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  10. I can't get enough of ridiculously high heels which def take a huge toll on my feet--so basically, I can't live without my dr scholls pads (or the hot baths at the end of the day where I can soak my poor feet) :-)

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  11. Lovely tips Lisa!
    I trained myself how to walk in heels when I was about 15 and I never went back to flats. Only once in a blue moon, but I feel better and more confident in a pair of killer stilettos! Usually though, it's important to invest in a few good, high quality pairs that you regularly wear.
    xoxo
    Mimi

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  12. great reminder on how to take care of our feet! I just lay off heels until I absolutely need to wear them. As for dancing I buy practice dance shoes with proper heel support.

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  13. hi lisa! i loved your post about business cards on IFB; i need to make some for Miami Fashion Week!

    i can only stand all day in heels if eithe they're a kitten heels or a really comfy platform with good arch support :) i'd really like to try some time of insert for my flats for my retail job though.

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  14. Soaking my feet in hot water and Epsom salts is the best thing after a long day in heels. I'm definitely a power walker - even in heels ;).

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  15. I am a speed walker too! I literally have to tell myself to slow down when i'm in heels!

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  16. LPF, I'm glad you found the post about business cards I did for IFB helpful! :)

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  17. thank you for these helpful tips!! You can be sure I put them in practice.

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  18. i'm all about high heels and i seriously stock up on dr. scholl's products. they really do make a difference. great post and info, btw! :)

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  19. I never get aches, just blisters :(
    trisch xo

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  20. Great tips, I'll have to take notes!
    Those Prada heels are gorgeous.

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  21. love these how to series you'e doing. very very helpful!

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  22. I'm glad to hear you too wear flats most days. I don't even wear heels anymore, if I do in the future I'll remember this post. :-)

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  23. A friend told me about insoles years ago...and they make all the difference. I spend most of my time flats and barbie-high arches, so insoles really help with the pressure on the balls of my foot...and with the sliding. I hadn't thought about smaller steps or heard of anti-blister roll-on, so thanks for the tips!

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  24. I heard putting some vaseline on the tight spots such as the heal also helps.

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  25. I am going to try all this, I stupidly wore new 3 inch heels to work today without properly breaking them in! I really want to start incorporating heels into my everyday life, so I hope this works.

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  26. I find heels comfy because I wear them when I get home from school and on weekends - it makes them so much easier to walk in!

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  27. I find heels comfy because I wear them when I get home from school and on weekends - it makes them so much easier to walk in!

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  28. Of course we can swap links! That's so great that you managed to buy a Chanel purse, which one was it? I need to rethink my budgets, I really want a Mulberry bag somehow, but I have an overdraft to pay off and lots of course materials to buy. I really should buy less high street though.

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  29. Ah that's lucky, I have student loans (they don't have to be paid off immediately) and my part time job funds my food and social life, as well as a few high street bits. I will have a paid internship in New York soon though, and I'm going to save up a bit, so that I can find some designer bargains.

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  30. Ah jealous! It is a classic though, I'm sure I'll find a way to get one eventually...

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  31. It's a knitwear manufacturing company, all relates to my fashion knitwear course, involves a bit of admin, shop reports and hopefully some designing. Not sure when I'm going yet, but looking forward to it.

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  36. I know this is an old post, but I find certain pairs of heels just never get worn in right. I love to wear them, so I've found to keep from getting blisters, I must wear hose (I prefer thigh highs) and then the hose fabric keeps the heel from rubbing against my bare foot. :) Small tip, but helpful. Hose socks also work great if you're wearing your heels with pants or jeans, then you don't have to wear the whole pair of hose. Hope this helps!

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  37. I am overweight and so wearing heels has been even more if a problem - however - I try to at least watch my ego and if need be go UP a size in a shoe - just gives more breathing room - if there is to much space I "pad it up" with inserts - also I try to pay more for heels that I am going to wear alot - I do alot of public speaking. So I have been checking out shoes by like aerosoles. Some of their heels feel downright like slippers! Just my thoughts. :)

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  38. Lisa....i had a terrible time finding heels that fit me perfectly...most times my toes would fall off in under an hour, so I spent a year developing a way to mold my shoes to my feet. Maybe other readers would find it interesting, so chk out my youtube video! www.HeavenOnHeels.ca thanks!

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  39. Tired of high-heel pain? Wear fashionable, foldable flats! Footzyfolds has all the latest styles & colors for every fashion season. www.FootzyFolds.com

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  40. Hi Sal, Can you tell me more about mole skin? I have a pair of open toe shoes that rub on my toe and cut my skin

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  41. Im 14 and i just got a pair of high heeled boots and im gonna try some of these cuz i had to wear them to play rehersels and dancing killed my feet

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  42. It may be a lot of things, depending on where the pains are in her foot.
    http://www.footcentersofnc.com/doctors.html

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  43. I also prefer flats. I only wear heels when I absolutely must. Either because the occasion definitely requires it or my outfit would look really strange without them. That said, I can only think of a few occasions that I felt met those requirements.

    My feet do slip. I think the heel liners are a good idea. Thanks for sharing.

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  44. so many girls who love to wear high heels in each style and in each trend it makes your look beautiful and trendy...and make your look beautiful..!!

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