11 Tricks to Wearing High Heels Without Pain

11 Tricks to Wearing High Heels Without Pain

It's safe to say that wearing heels isn't always a walk in the park. Sore ankles and achy arches are anything but ideal. Yet, women still do it on a daily basis. I mean, I can't blame all the heel-wearing ladies out there, because they do look fabulous and heels can totally take an outfit to the next level. However, it does suck to be in excruciating pain before you've even made it to work or an event.

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The good news? There are tricks to wearing heels the right way. I know it seems impossible to actually survive a day of wearing heels and not want to soak your feet for hours at the end of the night, but there actually are things you can do to help. 

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Whether it's the shape of the shoe, when you buy it, or how you walk, you would be amazed to see how many things can effect your comfort level. Some things may seem a little obvious, but others are straight up genius. Here are 11 tricks you should definitely try next time you wear a pair of heels. 


Images via coka/Shutterstock, Ocean/Corbis

  • Wear the Right Size


    Image via Voyagerix/Shutterstock

    Feet have a tendency to swell when you're wearing shoes for an extended period of time. If heels are extra snug to begin with, then you'll surely be in trouble after a few hours of wear. That last thing you want are ingrown toe nails or bunions.

  • Choose a Bit of Platform


    Image via Douglas Sherman/Shutterstock

    Sure, those strappy, skinny summer stilettos may look like a dream. However, it's important to be realistic about what kind of shoe has day-long potential. A thin sole will most likely cause pain for the bottom of your foot. Look for something with some rubber on the bottom to provide a bit of a buffer. Ideal? A heel that has a bit of a platform in the front. The platform reduces the incline of your foot, making things more comfortable all around.

  • Add More Cushion


    Image via footpetals.com

    Store-bought inserts can be your BFF. Add a little extra cushion to your shoe and your dogs won't be barking as quick. My go-to? Foot Petals tip toes ($6.95, footpetals.com).

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  • Shop at the End of the Day


    Image via Karramba Production/Shutterstock

    While you're at it, do your shoe shopping at the end of the day when your feet are more swollen, podiatrist Franklin Polun advises Washington Post readers. 

  • Lead With Your Thighs


    Image via bikeriderlondon/Shutterstock

    When you walk, lead with your thighs, moving your entire leg forward at once. Think about it: You're probably used to letting your feet lead, right? It takes practice, but you'll find yourself putting less pressure on the ball of your foot this way. And remember: Move your legs from the hips and keep your legs straight. Bending knees looks goofy with heels.

  • Take Breaks


    Image via AbElena/Shutterstock

    Whether you're wearing heels or not, being on your feet for an extended period of time will hurt your tootsies no matter what. Do yourself a favor and take turns standing and sitting over the course of a day/night in heels.

  • Go Wedge, Young Lady


    Image via coka/Shutterstock

    The narrower the heel, the greater the pain. So go for a chunkier heel or a wedge. Podiatrist Erika Schwartz tells the Washington Post, "The bigger the heel, if it’s chunky or a wedge, seems to be better because the shoe has a wider base of stability. A skinnier heel and you’re more likely to have ankle spraining."

  • Score More


    Image via Photobac/Shutterstock

    A surprising high heel tip from supermodel Tyra Banks: Score the bottoms of your shoes with scissor points to create grooves so you don't slip when you (inevitably) wobble.

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  • Break in With a Shoe Stretcher


    Image via shoesmart.com

    Break in your new pair with a high heel shoe stretcher ($24.99, shoesmart.com), which will stretch out the width of those pumps.

  • Check the Heel Placement


    Images via Aaron Amat/Shutterstock, kedrov/Shutterstock

    Choose shoes with heels placed directly under the center of your foot's heel (left), not at the very back of the shoe (right).

  • Get Strappy


    Image via Andrii Muzyka/Shutterstock

    Heels are more comfortable to walk in when you get a little extra support from straps, like ballet slipper, Mary Jane, gladiator, or T-strap.


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