Whether it’s for work, a night out, or a special occasion, high heels can transform any outfit from ordinary to exceptional. But let’s face it, wearing these elevated styles often comes with a hefty price—foot discomfort. Luckily, there are several hacks and tips that can make your heels more comfortable. In this blog post, we will delve into eleven of the most effective ways to make your favorite pair of heels feel as good as they look. So, step into your stilettos with confidence and say goodbye to foot pain!
Understanding the Need for Comfortable Heels
High heels have long been a staple in many women’s wardrobes. However, their aesthetic appeal often overshadows their lack of comfort. Wearing high heels can lead to various foot problems including blisters, bunions, and even long-term foot deformities. Therefore, finding ways to make them more comfortable is paramount in ensuring you can wear them without risk of foot damage.
The Science Behind Foot Discomfort in Heels
Wearing high heels shifts your body’s center of gravity forward, putting extra pressure on the front part of your feet. This change in pressure distribution can cause discomfort and pain in your toes, arch, and heel. Furthermore, the narrow toe box commonly found in high heels can squeeze your toes together, leading to blisters and calluses. By understanding the science behind foot discomfort in heels, we can better address these issues with effective solutions.
Let’s Talk About Inserts
Inserts are a simple and affordable solution for making heels more comfortable. They come in various types, each serving a specific purpose. Using inserts effectively involves identifying the areas of your foot that are most impacted when wearing heels.
Once these areas are identified, you can place the inserts accordingly. It’s also crucial to replace inserts regularly, as they can flatten over time, losing their cushioning effect.
Silicone inserts, often called shoe cushions, provide a soft padding that reduces the impact on your feet when walking. They’re typically placed under the ball of the foot, which is a common area of discomfort in heels. Silicone is a durable material that retains its shape, ensuring long-lasting comfort.
Like silicone inserts, gel inserts serve to cushion your feet, but they offer an added benefit. Gel has a unique property that allows it to mold to your foot shape, providing personalized comfort. These inserts can be placed in various parts of the shoe, depending on where the discomfort is felt the most.
Say No to Blisters and Chaffing
Blisters and chafing are common issues that many women face when wearing heels. These uncomfortable and painful conditions can make it difficult to enjoy a night out or even get through a long day at work. But what causes blisters and chafing when wearing heels, and how can you prevent them?
The Secret Weapon: Moleskin Strips
Moleskin strips are a secret weapon against blisters and chafing. Used by stylists and celebrities alike, these strips have a super-sticky adhesive and a bit of padding, providing both protection and comfort. Unlike Band-Aids, moleskin won’t bunch up, ensuring reliable protection no matter how long you wear your heels.
What is Moleskin?
Moleskin is a heavy cotton fabric, woven and then sheared to create a short, soft pile on one side. In the context of foot care, moleskin refers to adhesive pads made from this material. They are used to protect the skin from friction and pressure, helping prevent blisters and chafing.
How to Apply Moleskin
To apply moleskin, start by identifying the areas of your foot that are prone to blistering or chafing. Cut a piece of moleskin large enough to cover this area, then remove the backing and stick it to your skin. Ensure that the moleskin is applied smoothly and without wrinkles to avoid any discomfort.
The Secret Weapon: Anti Chaffing Balm
One of the main culprits behind blisters and chafing is friction. When your foot rubs against the inside of the shoe, it creates heat and friction, which can lead to blisters. To reduce friction, try applying a thin layer of petroleum jelly or anti-chafing balm on areas where you tend to develop blisters, such as the back of your heel or the sides of your toes.
Why Band-Aids Aren’t the Answer
While Band-Aids might seem like a handy solution to prevent blisters, they often end up rolling or bunching up within your shoes, losing their effectiveness. Unlike moleskin, Band-Aids weren’t designed to withstand the pressures and friction caused by walking in high heels, making them less than ideal for this purpose.
Securing Your Heels
Importance of a Good Fit in High Heels
A well-fitted pair of heels is fundamental in ensuring comfort.
Wearing shoes that are too tight or too loose can also contribute to blisters and chafing. When your shoes don’t fit properly, your foot can slide around inside the shoe, causing friction and rubbing. Make sure to measure your feet regularly and choose shoes that fit well. Consider using heel grips or insoles to improve the fit and prevent your foot from sliding forward or sideways.
Shopping for Secure Heel Styles
When shopping for heels, look for styles that provide secure support. Ankle straps, for example, can provide additional stability, reducing the strain on your feet. If you have narrow feet, opt for styles that come in narrow sizes, or consider using shoe fillers for a better fit.
Understanding Ankle Straps
Ankle straps are not just a stylish addition to high heels; they play a significant role in securing the shoe to your foot. The strap encircles the ankle, providing a connection between the front and back of the shoe, which helps distribute weight more evenly across your foot, reducing pressure points.
Choosing Shoes for Narrow Feet
If you have narrow feet, it’s important to choose shoes that match your foot width. Shoes that are too wide can cause your foot to slide forward, putting extra pressure on your toes. If you can’t find the right fit, consider using shoe fillers or insoles to help fill the excess space and provide a more secure fit.
Pick Heels With Cushioning
Another factor that can cause discomfort when wearing heels is the lack of cushioning. Most high heels have very little padding, which can put pressure on the balls of your feet and cause pain. To add extra cushioning, consider using gel inserts or silicone pads. These can provide additional support and absorb shock, making your heels more comfortable to wear.
Using Heel Grips for Extra Security
Understanding What Heel Grips Are
Heel grips are a type of shoe insert designed to prevent your heel from slipping out of your shoes. They are usually made of rubber or a similar material and adhere to the inside back of your shoes, providing extra grip and improving fit.
How Heel Grips Can Prevent Slippage
Heel slippage can cause blisters and make it difficult to walk comfortably in heels. By providing additional friction between your heel and the shoe, heel grips can prevent slippage, making your heels feel more secure and comfortable.
Walking Confidently in High Heels
Basic Tips for Walking in Heels Walking in heels is an art that requires practice. Begin with a shorter heel and gradually transition to taller ones as you become more comfortable. Remember to walk heel-to-toe rather than toe-to-heel, which can cause instability. Keep your legs close together and take smaller steps than you would in flats. Don’t forget to relax your body and keep your posture upright.
Many women make the mistake of wearing brand new heels for an extended period without breaking them in first. This can lead to blisters and chafing, as the shoe material may be stiff and unforgiving. To avoid this, wear your new heels around the house for short periods before wearing them for a full day. This will allow the shoes to mold to the shape of your foot and soften the material.
Professional Advice from a Wardrobe Stylist
Wardrobe stylists who specialize in high heels often recommend pre-emptively applying bandaids over potential blister areas before wearing new heels. They also suggest carrying extra bandaids just in case. As with most things, the key is to address problem areas before they escalate. If you start feeling any irritation, don’t hesitate to apply a bandaid.
Fashion Director Hacks
The Anti-Blister Stick: A Must-Have
If plasters aren’t up your alley, a transparent anti-blister stick can be a game-changer. These sticks lubricate any areas that would normally cause problems, helping prevent blisters before they start. One such product loved by many is Compeed’s Anti Blister Stick. It’s small, compact, and easy to pop into your bag for any emergency SOS situations.
When and How to Use an Anti-Blister Stick
Anti-blister sticks should be used before putting on your shoes. Simply swipe the stick over any areas prone to friction or discomfort. This will create a thin, invisible barrier that reduces friction between your skin and the shoe, preventing blisters.
Padded Inserts for Ball-of-Foot Discomfort
Understanding the Issue with the Ball of Your Foot
The ball of the foot bears the brunt of the pressure when you’re wearing high heels. This pressure can lead to discomfort and pain known as metatarsalgia. The condition can be exacerbated by standing or walking for long periods, especially in high heels.
Choosing the Right Type of Insert
Gel inserts are a popular choice for relieving pressure on the ball of the foot. However, it’s important to note that full inserts should only be used if your shoes are slightly too big, as these can otherwise cramp the area for your feet. For a perfect fit, consider using partial inserts that cushion only the ball of the foot.
Final Thoughts on Making Heels More Comfortable
While high heels can cause discomfort and pain, there’s no need to give them up entirely. With these 11 expert-approved hacks, you can make your favorite pair of heels more comfortable, allowing you to wear them with confidence and ease. Remember, comfort doesn’t have to compromise style!
Recap of Key Tips and Tricks
To recap, making heels more comfortable involves a combination of various strategies: using padded inserts, opting for moleskin strips over Band-Aids, ensuring a secure fit, using heel grips for extra security, and employing the right walking techniques. In addition, using anti-blister sticks and padded inserts can help manage specific issues like blisters and ball-of-foot discomfort.