Originally posted June 10, 2014. Updated on January 1, 2017.
We’ve all been through it -those nights where our shoes go from high heels to heel no! As much as we love our stilettos, we don’t love how they leave us limping, blistered, and sore by 10pm. There’s gotta be a better way, right? Short of busting out a pair of flats midway through the night (and pretty much ruining our ensembles), here are several nifty ways to make your heels more comfortable -so you can dance the night away (or at least attempt to do so a little more comfortably).
Not a lot of people have heard of moleskin, but it’s one of the best kept secrets for preventing blisters. The super soft adhesive cotton “skin” can be cut and applied to blister-prone spots as well as used to line any part of your shoe. This is one of our favorite blister busters!
2. Toe Taping
This sounds a little weird, but there is nerve that splits between your 3rd and 4th toe which causes pain in the balls of your feet. By taping the 3rd and 4th toes together with surgical tape, less strain is put on the nerve which helps alleviate pain.
Use Dr. Scholl’s rub relief stick. It coats your feet in a waxy, clear finish that acts as a protective layer against friction.
4. Arch Supporters/Full Insoles
To maximize the comfort of your shoes, find a full insole with arch support. Full insoles help distribute pressure evenly making your heels much more bearable. The downside is that full insoles often make shoes a bit tighter and can cause more discomfort, so make sure to test them out before leaving the house. We like these Dr. Scholls Tri-comfort inserts because they’re specifically made in a 3/4 length to prevent overcrowding and they address 3 factors of relief: 1. The 3/4 length design allows toes to move freely and fits easily in shoe. 2. Unique FlexiSpring™ arch provides customized support. 2. Cushions the ball-of-foot and heel to reduce impact and fatigue.
The ball of your foot is the part which suffers the most when wearing heels, so using ball/toe inserts is essential to staying comfortable. Try Woly’s Little Kitten shoe pads -they’re specifically engineered in Germany for relieving high heel pain. Unlike full insoles, ball/toe inserts won’t make your shoes tighter. You should use these every time you wear heels! They’re inexpensive, effective, and make a world of difference.
6. Square, Open, or Round Toe Shoes
Heels with a square, open, or round toe are going to be much more comfortable than a narrow, pointy toed heel. Pointy toed heels smash toes together and compact the ball of the foot making it much more likely that you’ll experience discomfort quicker. This is especially true if your feet are on the wider side. If you know you’ll be standing a lot, opt for a square, round, or open toe shoe.
6. Try Platform Heels
Shoes with a thick platform and square heel will generally be more comfortable and bearable compared to a stiletto heel. So if you know you’re going to be on your feet a lot, opt for a shorter, thicker heel.
7. Shoe Stretchers
8. Take Them To a Cobbler
Like clothing, it’s helpful to tailor your shoes to fit your feet perfectly. Instead of wearing them right off the shelf, take them to a cobbler to be precisely fitted on your feet.
9. Use a Blowdryer
A blowdryer and a sock can work wonders on shoes that are too tight and uncomfortable. Place a sock inside your shoes and use a blowdryer (keeping it 6 inches away) to soften and heat the material to stretch the shoe. This works best on polyvinyls and leather. Be sure not to put the blowdryer too close to avoid burning the fabric.
10. Test Drive
If your shoes are brand new, it’s best to “test drive” them around the house before venturing out for the night. This way you can see if there are any fit issues or sore spots, so you can make the necessary adjustments instead of ending up in pain.
11. Keep Your Heel Height Below 3 Inches
The higher the heel, the more pain you will experience. To be your most comfortable, avoid heels that are higher than 3 inches. If you want to be extra comfortable, don’t go above 2 inches.
Ready for more ways to make your heels comfortable? Read on: 10 More Ways To Make High Heels More Comfortable.