I vividly remember the exact day I decided I was going to grow up, and be the type of woman who wears high heels. At 16, I was interning at a law office over summer vacation. On my lunch break, I watched two stylish young women cross the street from an office building, confident and sexy in their heels. Something about the way they looked and the way they walked really struck a cord with me, and I remember thinking to myself, “I want to be like that…I’m going to be the type of woman who wears high heels…”
Over a decade later…I own my fair share of heels, and am happy to report I even wear them every now and again. But 16 year old Kelly had a long road ahead of her before she got to this point. From learning the hard way what size to wear, to discovering the following tools that have helped make my heels bearable (I dare say…in some cases, comfortable) to wear.
Disclaimer – not all shoes can be rehabilitated with these tips, and some women’s feet, for whatever reason, refuse to wear heels without pain. These tips do not guarantee your shoes will feel like you’re wearing Air Jordans, but they might help you make it through the work day without a blister.
Please excuse the dirty shoes in these photos…
Foot CushionsPlace At The Ball-Of-Foot
My favorite foot cushions are ball of foot cushions. These fit on the bottom of the shoe, where the ball of your foot sits. These do two things:
1. Cushion the part of your foot that receives the most pressure when wearing heels.
2. Stops your foot from sliding forward in your shoes.
The shoes above were my first pair of 4 inch heels, and while I absolutely love them, they were horrific to wear. The bottom of my foot would get sore from the pressure of such a high heel, and my feet would slide forward, so my toes were scrunched and the slingback would slip off my heel. Adding a pair of these cushions to my shoes has allowed me to wear these for hours at a time, even while boogieing down at weddings.
Ball of foot cushions:
Heel LinersPlace At Back Of Heel
My second favorite type of foot cushions are heel liners. These serve two purposes:
1. Keep your heel from slipping out of, and/or rubbing the back of the shoe, preventing blisters.
2. Push your feet slightly forward in the shoe for a tighter fit.
Shoes that rub at the heel, or have stretched with wear get a pair of these. The shoes above are my beloved Cole Haan open toe pumps. As I wore them, the leather slowly stretched over time, and began fitting a little loose. That’s when I slapped a heel liner at the back, and all of a sudden my shoes fit snugly again.
Tip: these are also great if, like me, you have one foot that is slightly smaller than the other. Buy the shoe size that fits well on your larger foot, and then place a heel liner at the back of the shoe for your smaller foot. It will help the shoe fit your smaller foot better.
Foot LinersProtects Your Toes
These strange looking things are my toe’s best friends! Even with all the foot cushions in the world, closed-toe shoes would rub my toes painfully raw. First, I tried full length foot liners, but they wouldn’t fit, hidden from view, in my heels (I do wear these with my kitten heels though). Then I found these slingback liners and my toes have never been happier.
There are also Toe Covers without the elastic but I’ve never tried:
So…what secrets are my favorite grey suede Cole Haan heels hiding, you ask?
And now, I can be the type of woman who wears heels. ;)
- I detest the plasticy or gel filled cushions because they not only promote foot sweat, but they also make squeaky noises as you walk (true story)!
- If the heel of your foot feels sore from pressure, there are shoe cushions for that too.
- Adding cushions and liners will make your shoes fit snugger. This is great if you find shoes to be a tad too big at times, but can make them painfully tight if your shoes are very snug to begin with.
What secrets are your high heels hiding?