Our guide to high heels
Believe it or not, wearing high heels can add to your height and your confidence without hurting your feet. Here are some tips for how to buy a new pair and get an old pair to fit better.
1. Go shoe shopping at the end of the day. Your feet will be a little swollen from activity, which allows you to buy the size that is perfect to wear all the way through the day. Model Molly Sims recommends buying heels that are a half a size too big for this very reason.
2. When choosing a pair of heels, keep in mind that it’s not so much the height that causes pain, it’s the angle of your foot in comparison with the ground. If the balls of your feet are significantly lower than your heels, you are more likely to experience pain in your arches. Think of your foot connected to your leg at a 90 degree angle. The more obtuse this angle becomes as your heel is lifted off the ground, the more pressure is put on the balls of your feet and your arches. Try to go for a pair where the angle is closer to ninety degrees. Between 110-130 degrees is a good range to look for. You can still have a lot of height, but it will be less painful and you will be able to wear the shoes for longer periods of time and more often. Heel thickness is also a huge comfort factor. It’s easier to walk in wedges than stilettos because the thicker heel allows for more stability. If you’re not so confident, try a thick heel like a mule or platform.
3. Look for rounded toes with a little more room than what your feet take up. If you like pointed-toe shoes, be sure the point doesn’t end right after your toes. This will cause stress and friction. Instead, be sure the point ends half an inch or so after where your longest toes end. This will allow for wiggle room and not cause the sides of your shoes to cut into your feet.
4. If your shoes are a little too small, take them to a cobbler to have them stretched. This will also help to lesson the time it takes for the “wearing them in” stage.
5. If you find yourself with blisters, try covering the affected areas with moleskin. The bandage-like material will help reduce friction and the extra padding adds comfort.
6. Try insoles. There are many varieties, from gel to foam, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Some cover the entire insole of your shoe and others are made to cushion the balls of your feet or your heels. Pick what fits your foot best and doesn’t make the shoes too small.