10 Tricks to Wearing High Heels

You purchased the perfect pair of heels and can’t wait to wear them. Friday night approaches and you plan your outfit entirely around them. As you’re leaving your apartment, you take one last look in the mirror and think to yourself, “YAS”.

A few short hours later, you’re dancing with your girls and you can’t feel your feet. No wait. You definitely can feel your feet and absolutely nothing about them feels good. Your knees start feeling the pressure and you shuffle off the dance floor and hang for dear life on the side of the bar.

We’ve all been there. Although our shoe collections are often beautiful, they aren’t typically comfortable. Instead of turning your shoulder to all of the killer heels in your life, here are 10 tricks to making your heel experience as manageable as possible…

Wear the Right Size

Feet have a tendency to swell when you’re wearing shoes for an extended period of time. If you buy your heels too snug, then you’ll be in trouble after a few hours of wear. A good trick for shoe shopping is to always do it at the end of the day, when your feet are more swollen so that you can get a true feel for the fit of the shoe.

Go for the Platform

Heels with all-day-long potential usually have a platform. The platform reduces the incline of your foot, making things more comfortable all around.

Add More Cushion

The prettier the shoe, the less comfortable I find them to be. Your favorite dance partner will be those store-bought inserts that will add a little extra cushion and comfort. Try Foot Petals tip toes ($6.95, footpetals.com).

Lead With Your Thighs

It seems pretty silly to break down “how to walk” for you ladies, but walking becomes increasingly different when you’re in 5 inch heels. It’s important to lead with your thighs, moving your entire leg forward at once. After a little bit of practice and mentally adjusting your walking habits, you’ll find yourself putting less pressure on the ball of your foot this way. And try to avoid over-bending your knees because that just looks plain goofy.

Take Breaks

Heels or no heels, being on your feet for an extended period of time will cause your feet to suffer. A valuable trick to wearing heels is to take turns standing and sitting over the course of a day/night.

Go Wedge, or go home

The narrower the heel, the greater the pain. So if you can’t not look like a baby calf learning how to walk for the first time in stilettos, opt for a chunkier heel or a wedge, which provides a wider base of stability. Also, if you’re inhertantly clumsy, the skinner the heel, the more prone you’ll be to ankle accidents.

buffer the bottom

A heel with some sort of traction on the bottom will provide a bit of a buffer from slipping and sliding. A rubber base is ideal but if your shoes don’t have anything, Tyra Banks says to score the bottoms with scissors to create grooves so you don’t slip when you (inevitably) wobble.

Break it in

If you have wider feet like me and your heels are too narrow, break them in with a high heel shoe stretcher ($24.99, shoesmart.com), which will stretch out the width and give your toesies more room to breathe.

Purchase the rigt Heel Placement

Choose shoes with heels placed directly under the center of your foot’s heel (left), not at the very back of the shoe (right). The shoe on the left will provide more stability and comfort at the part of your foot that needs it most.

Get Strappy

Straps will provide you with a little extra support and they come in a multitude of styles which keeps your outfit interesting (ballet slipper, Mary Jane, gladiator, and t-straps are all great options).