When it comes to shopping for high-heeled shoes, comfort is key. But what do you do if you're not keen on the brands or styles that offer the best comfort? Or if that perfect pair of heels for your dress isn't exactly built with comfort in mind? These simple tips will help you customize or adjust your favorite pair of high heels so you can wear them without pain.
It's amazing how much the shape of your shoe impacts the comfort. For instance, platforms (this kind, not the ones Elton John wore in the '70s) cut down the distance your heels are elevated above the balls of your feet. That means they're not as taxing on your arch, which is especially good when you're towering on at least three inches. A rounder toe box is also worlds more comfortable and better for your feet, because it allows your toes to lay flat. However, pointy toes are doable as long as the point stretches out instead of stopping right where your toes would rest.
Lucky for your tired, sore feet, we're on a mission to empower you to eliminate your footwear pain this holiday season. Over the years, we've become acquainted with plenty of shoe hacks (many of them directly from shoe designers) that help your feet feel much better inside all your fabulous heels. Armed with our favorite five—which we're breaking down below—you'll be able to dance the night away and never once feel like your feet are killing your fun.

Vasyli recommends opting for well-constructed "quality" shoes, especially those that have shock absorbing materials in the ball of the foot, and using an insert like Orthaheel, which he invented. He also suggests wearing your highest heels for only short periods at a time and giving them a little bit of closet time now and then."If you feel the need to wear higher-heeled shoes daily, then take a more comfortable shoe to get to and from work and wear the higher shoes while you're sitting at your desk," he adds.
Best Restaurant Series: Alabang Restaurants, Antipolo Restaurants, Banawe Restaurants, BGC Restaurants, Eastwood Restaurants, Glorietta Restaurants, Greenhills Restaurants, Kapitolyo Restaurants, Maginhawa Restaurants, Marikina Restaurants, Megamall Restaurants, MOA Restaurants, Tagaytay Restaurants, Trinoma Restaurants, UP Town Center Restaurants, Uptown Mall Restaurants
Walking in heels is much less painful when the in-sole is well-cushioned. "This helps in absorbing shock in the ball area while walking and provides comfort," says footwear designer Radhika Jain over email. "These insole cushions can be made either of eva foam/latex foam or memory foam, which is the best. Nowadays you can buy them online or at a shoe store with foot-care accessories."
Dr Naomi explained: "When you wear a high heel there is a huge amount of pressure bearing down on the soles of the feet, so a platform sole underneath can diffuse the pressure. There is more padding between the foot and the pavement. Thick heels can be more comfortable for walking than stilettos, as again there is more surface area for the pressure."
Rough up the bottoms of your heels.[5] It’s important that your shoes have a decent amount of traction on the bottom. Walking in high heels will be a lot easier and safer if you’re not sliding around all over the place. New heels tend to have smoother bottoms that become rougher once scuffed. Speed up the process by roughing up the bottom of your heels using a piece of sandpaper. Rub the bottom of your heels for a minute or two, or until the bottoms feel noticeably rougher.
"As simple as it sounds, the shoe needs to fit," says podiatric surgeon Dr. Rebecca Pruthi over email. You want to make sure there is space between the longest toe and the end of the shoe. "When shoe shopping, buy at the end of the day when your feet are already swollen," suggests Pruthi. "Also, look at your width of your feet. I see too many women with wide feet cramming into a narrow shoe. This will help avoid bony changes and damage that can lead to bunions, neuromas and hammertoes."
Consider a lower or more comfortable style. Choose a thicker and more stable heel like a platform, wedge, or chunky heel to provide more support and weight distribution. Shy away from pointed-toe styles if you have wide feet or toes, opting for round or almond-shaped instead. You can also buy heeled boots or heels with ankle straps to help support your ankles.[3]
Christmas and New Year's parties should have us dancing the night away, but amid the bubbles, karaoke and Secret Santa gifts is that pesky foot pain from having to keep those sparkly stilettos on for hours on end. High heels looked great but can be painful, and so to help we have put together top tips for being able to walk (and dance) in heels without pain. Check out our tips so you can party pain free!  

You should always choose heels with thicker souls because that will ensure that you have enough ground to land your feet on. The ground will give you ample space to your feet and you will feel comfortable walking in them. Your legs can be hurt by thin soles because they put more pressure on your feet and dirt and other external agents can get into the legs and make your feet dirty and cracked.
Wet the insides of your high heel shoes to stretch them.[6] Water can speed up the breaking in process by helping to mold the inside material of your shoes to your feet. Take a damp cloth and rub the insides of your high heels. Put them on while they’re still moist and wear them for an hour or more. You can also dampen a pair of socks and wear them with your high heels for the same amount of time.
As someone who stands at a very short five feet tall, I love wearing high heels. It’s not because I hate being short – I actually like it. It’s because I love the extra boost high heels give me. Wearing a cute heel makes me feel more confident, in charge, and mature. Whether it’s a stiletto, a chunky heel, a small heel, or a wedge, I wear some sort of high heel style every day. I love it, but I’ll be the first person to tell you that, damn, high heels can be uncomfortable.

As a New Yorker, I walk a lot. To get to and from the subway, I walk about two miles daily, if Google Maps is to be believed. Before I even got to work on Monday, the familiar pain in the balls of my feet was there. By the end of Tuesday, both feet were sore from wearing heels two days in a row. By lunch on Wednesday, I had slipped back into flats, plummeting three inches back to earth.
While we’re totally on board when it comes to sucking it in for a corseted top or dealing with a less-than-comfortable strapless bra, we’re so not here for torturing the most important part of our bodies — we’re talking feet here, people. Wearing high heels that kill your toes, heels, ankles and the balls of your feet instantly rob you of your happiness — and kinda take away from an otherwise cute outfit. Even Kate Upton would have a difficult time looking hot while wobbling around the room in pain.
Health.com is part of the Meredith Health Group. All rights reserved. The material in this site is intended to be of general informational use and is not intended to constitute medical advice, probable diagnosis, or recommended treatments. All products and services featured are selected by our editors. Health.com may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice. See the Terms of Servicethis link opens in a new tab and Privacy Policythis link opens in a new tab (Your California Rightsthis link opens in a new tab)for more information. Ad Choicesthis link opens in a new tab | EU Data Subject Requeststhis link opens in a new tab
"High heels may be painful for anyone; women suffering from varicose veins and underlying venous insufficiency are especially prone to discomfort," says Dr. Christopher Hollingsworth, an endovascular surgeon at NYC Surgical Associates. "Veins have a series of series of one-way valves to facilitate the return of blood towards the heart... While veins anywhere in the body can become varicose, veins in the legs are most affected due to the larger pressure from sustained standing, walking or other stress on the legs or feet."
1.STATE19013.1 Phillip LimAdrianna PapellAGLAlegriaAlexander McQueenAlexander WangAlexandre BirmanALIAS MAEAlice + OliviaAmalfi by RangoniAquataliaAQUAZZURAaraAravonArcheAriatAthena AlexanderATTICOBadgley Mischka CollectionBalenciagaBand of GypsiesBC FootwearBCBGBCBGMAXAZRIABed StuBella BelleBELLA VITABERNARDO FOOTWEARbernie mev.Bill BlassBIONICABLACK SUEDE STUDIOBlondoBørnBos. & Co.BotkierBP.Brian AtwoodBUENOBZEESCallistoCalvin KleinCALVIN KLEIN 205W39NYCCalvin Klein JeansCamperCaslon®CC Corso Como®CECELIA NEW YORKCharles by Charles DavidCharles DavidChinese LaundryChloéChocolat BluChristian LouboutinClarks®COACHCole HaanComfortivaCordaniDanskoDavid TateDiane von FurstenbergDolce VitaDolce&GabbanaDonald PlinerDonna Karan New YorkDr. Scholl'sDries Van NotenEarth®ECCOEileen FisherEmme ParsonsEnzo AngioliniETIENNE AIGNERFamolareFendiFidjiFILAFinn ComfortFitFlopFly LondonFRANCESCO RUSSOFranco SartoFREDA SALVADORFree PeopleFryeGaborGanniGentle SoulsGeoxGiuseppe ZanottiGivenchyGucciHalogen®HispanitasHuma BlancoHush Puppies®Imagine by Vince CamutoISABEL MARANTIsoláJ. ReneéJ.CREWJack RogersJambuJAMES CHANJane and the ShoeJeffrey CampbellJerusalem SandalsJessica SimpsonJEWEL BADGLEY MISCHKAJimmy ChooJohnston & MurphyJoieJosef SeibelKarl Lagerfeld ParisKarl Lagerfeld Pariskate spade new yorkKaty PerryKeenKelsi Dagger BrooklynKENDALL + KYLIEKenneth Cole New YorkKlub NicoKork-Ease®Kristin CavallariKurt Geiger LondonL ARTISTEL'Amour des PiedsLATIGOLauren LorraineLeithLilly Pulitzer®Linea PaoloLoeffler RandallLouise et CieLove and LibertyLucky BrandM4D3 FOOTWEARMadewellMaison MargielaMALONE SOULIERS BY ROY LUWOLTManolo BlahnikMARC FISHER LTDMarc Joseph New YorkMarskinryyppyMatisseMe TooMelissaMephistoMercedes CastilloMIAMICHAEL Michael KorsMinnetonkaMiu MiuMiz MoozMunroN°21NaotNaturalizerNIC+ZOENinaNine WestNordstrom SignatureONOOTBTPAIGEParadox London PinkPAS DE ROUGEpatricia greenPaul GreenPedro GarciaPelle ModaPIKOLINOSPradaProenza Schoulerrag & boneRebecca MinkoffReike NenRieker AntistressRockportRockport Cobb HillRomika®Ron WhiteROYAL CANADIANSaint LaurentSalvatore FerragamoSam EdelmanSARTO by Franco SartoSbiccaSchutzSee by ChloéSelf-PortraitSesto MeucciSeychellesSézaneSheridan MiaSigerson MorrisonSöfftSoftWalk®Sole SocietySoludosSomething BleuSomething NavySplendidSpring StepStella McCartneySteve MaddenStuart WeitzmanSudiniSummitTabitha SimmonsTamarisTaosTaryn RoseTed Baker LondonTevaTHE FLEXXTHE OFFICE OF ANGELA SCOTTTibiTod'sTOMSTony BiancoTopshopTory BurchTRADEMARKTraskTreasure & BondTrottersUKIESUnited NudeVAGABOND SHOEMAKERSValentinoVALENTINO GARAVANIVANELiVeronica BeardVersaceVery VolatileVetementsVia SpigaVinceVince CamutoVionicWolkyWondersYosi SamraYUUL YIE
Wet the insides of your high heel shoes to stretch them.[6] Water can speed up the breaking in process by helping to mold the inside material of your shoes to your feet. Take a damp cloth and rub the insides of your high heels. Put them on while they’re still moist and wear them for an hour or more. You can also dampen a pair of socks and wear them with your high heels for the same amount of time.
You need to find your correct shoe size if you want to get rid of the pain. If you wear heels that fit you perfectly, your pain will lessen drastically. But if you choose a size bigger than your foot size, you will feel uncomfortable all the time because it will get out of your legs continuously. But remember that on the other hand, if your shoes are too tight for your feet, then it will hurt them and leave ugly marks on them. So you need to choose the correct size so that you feel comfortable while walking.
As Marilyn Monroe once said, “I don’t know who invented high heels, but all women owe him a lot.” We can’t help but agree. After all, heels are great at dressing up an outfit. In addition, they help elongate your legs, making it possible for everyone to feel like a supermodel for a night. The 1950s “blonde bombshell” actress is famous for her sexy style, so it’s no wonder fashionable pairs of heels were a staple in her closet. However, being a fashion icon also means that Marilyn was quite familiar with just how uncomfortable a trendy pair of heels can be. Luckily, here at FootFitter we have the fix if you’re trying to figure out how to make heels more comfortable.
You need to complement your shoe shape and sole width with the shape of your feet to avoid pain on your feet while wearing your favorite pair of heels so it is important to know your foot type. Our suggestion is that you consult a podiatrist; it will be the best way to know your foot type and what’s going on. If you can’t run out to the podiatrist, there’s a couple of neat ways to see if you have a flat foot or a high-arch foot. Wet your foot and step onto a piece of construction paper. When you make an impression, it will show you how much your foot is flattening or how high of an arch you have. You can look at a person’s foot type and see why they are having pain.
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).

Since water expands when it's frozen, you can use ice to stretch your shoes. All you have to do is fill two freezer bags with water, making sure to remove all the air from them before sealing. Place the bags in your shoes, then put them in the freezer. Leave them in there for 4 to 8 hours. Once the water has properly frozen, take your shoes out of the freezer and let them sit at room temperature until the ice thaws to a point where you can slip the bags out of your shoes. Voila! Your shoes should be nice and stretched for more comfy wearing.
(All of these products can be purchased at a drugstore or any store specializing in dance.) Often, when I’m wearing heels the pressure on the balls of my feet is too much to handle and I get a horrible burning sensation if I walk in them for too long. Well problem solved, I just take a piece of Gel Moleskin and stick it to the bottom of my foot completely eliminating the friction!
The number one mistake women make would probably be not having the right shoe size for their foot. Your foot size changes over the years, even as much as one full size, especially after having kids. Have your feet sized once a year, and do it if you’ve never had it done. Have your feet measured when you’re buying shoes, for width and for length as well. A lot of people think they’re a wide or vise versa and they’re not, so definitely do that before you shop.
×