There’s something about a great pair of heels that makes you feel like you can conquer the world. You feel fierce, sexy, and confident; or at least you do until they start hurting your feet. Once the throbbing pain hits, all you can think about is when you’ll get to take them off. Some gals just surrender and spend the rest of their plans barefoot. You trade your comfort for the risk of whatever germs, parasites or who knows what is on the dancefloor, sidewalk, or city street. Maybe you think to yourself, “Once my toes go numb I can just tough it out.” Pulse check, the “Bambi on Ice” or “constipated penguin” look you flaunt as you waddle around in pain cancels out ANY appeal the heels might have originally boosted. Now I would never suggest that you permanently break up with heels, especially if you love them. Instead, I want to give you my three tricks to wearing heels and keeping the pain level at a minimum.
Tape your third and fourth toes together. I know it sounds weird, but let me throw some style science at you. By creating more stability at the front of your foot, it shifts the weight off of the ball of your foot to your heel; which is where most weight naturally falls as we walk. By doing this tape trick, your weight will be better balanced and keep the pressure off of the sensitive parts of your feet. Side benefit, it will be easier to walk in your heels! You can easily accomplish this with some skin-toned medical tape or scotch tape if you’re in a rush.
Make sure you are wearing the right size. Heels are designed to fit differently than sneakers, slip-ons, or sandals. Because more of your weight is shifted forward instead of down and out, you may need to go up a half size or select the wide option to be more comfortable. FYI folks: if the heels already hurt when you are trying them on, they are not going to “break in” and suddenly be comfortable. Buy what fits so you will actually enjoy wearing them!
Think thick. The thicker the heel, the more support you’ll have underneath you. Thicker straps over the top of the heel, (think Mary Jane style) also give you more support and make it easier to balance. This extra balance power means that your muscles and tendons aren’t having to work overtime just to keep you from kissing the pavement.
Use these tricks the next time you head out in your heels and leave the hurt at home.