"Taking breaks at regular intervals is mandatory" Once, years ago, I attended a movie premier gala for the second "Sex in the City." Of course, high heels were required attire, and mine were very high! There were very few places to sit at the gala, and I must have stood in those heels for over two hours straight before going into the theater. The first order of business was to remove my shoes after finding my seat, and I spent the whole movie stretching my feet, as it says to do above. When the movie ended, I gathered my shoes from under my seat, feeling revived enough to make the two-block walk back to the car. But, hard as I tried, I could only get one of the shoes to go onto my swollen foot. Walking with one leg 5" longer than the other was not an option, so I made the trek barefooted. It was raining when I left the theater, and although I first met it with an "Oh, Sh*t," I quickly found that the puddles were welcomed finds along the way, as the cold water felt so good to my feet. ;-)
One of Dr. Osterman’s favorite shoe brands is Pikolinos. The podiatrist-approved line boasts options that come with cushioned forefront beds, ample room in the toe boxes, and block heels for more stability. “The wider the heel, the less one has to balance on the shoe,” Dr. Osterman explains. “Think of the heel like a stilt – the smaller the heel, the more the calf muscles have to work, which can be unstable and fatiguing.” 
Add footpads: I then Frankenstein my own orthotics into every shoe, depending on the fit. Consider one of these: a very slim insert with a heel cup and slight arch (if you need arch support), heel cushion (for heel pain) or a foot “tongue” pad (use under the foot for cushion, or put on the underside of the top of the shoe to prevent sliding forward). A podiatrist can help you with custom inserts, or you can do as I do, which is buy them in bulk at the drugstore or online.  
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.
All products and services featured are selected by our editors. Real Simple may receive compensation for some links to products and services in this email on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice. Real Simple is part of the Meredith Home Group. © Copyright Meredith Corporationthis link opens in a new tab. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited | Privacy policythis link opens in a new tab | Terms of Servicethis link opens in a new tab | Ad Choicesthis link opens in a new tab | Your California Privacy Rightsthis link opens in a new tab | EU Data Subject Requeststhis link opens in a new tab
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.
I tried out the tip in some of my favorite pairs of heels that were all over three inches, some with big block heels and others with tiny stilleto heels. I'll spare readers pictures of my feet, but I dutifully binded my third and fourth toes first with tape and later (at the suggestion of the Bustle writer) with bandaids before slipping into my shoes.
But you don't have to swear off high heels altogether. It's possible to make high heels more comfortable. Just pay attention to how much lift you're getting. “Two inches is my cut-off,” says Ward. “A heel below that height does not add significant stress to the metatarsals as the weight can remain distributed between the heel and forefoot.” This also helps you stay balanced (read: no wipe-outs) in your kicks, she notes.

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.

There are many different types of aids to help make a shoe more comfortable even after "breaking them in," and can be purchased at shoe stores, large retailers, and some drugstores. These include special small gel pads for the balls of the feet, heel inserts to help minimize chafing at the back of the shoe and rough patches to glue onto the bottom of a slick sole, affording you better traction.


Directions — Once your feet start to feel pain, follow these steps: 1. Apply thoroughly to each foot like lotion 2. Let dry for one minute 3. Slip on your shoes and continue your day pain free Spray a thin layer to affected area every 6 to 8 hours, not to exceed 3 applications in a 24 hour period. adults and children 12 years and older apply and gently massage in repeat as needed no more that four times a day Wash hands after each use with cold water

Comfortable heels do exist, and I happen to own some of them. But every girl knows that some heels are not comfortable in any way, and we wear them only because they look amazing. Pain for the sake of beauty sucks. Why should you walk around in heels that pinch your feet and make your legs ache? Why should you feel like you’re about to fall over the second you stand up or take a step? Why should you spend an entire day longingly thinking of your slippers? There are things you can do to make heels comfier – and some of you need to start doing them, because going barefoot in public is not okay.
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

(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!
Wear your heels around the house before a night out to get a feel for them. This is particularly helpful while breaking in a new pair of stilettos, as you can suss out where the shoes might rub. One way to deal with this is to put on thick socks with your shoes before a night out and blow dry the area where the shoes might rub for half a minute, which would help the shoe to expand and stretch. Another method is to fill plastic bags with water and place them in your shoes, then put them in a freeze. The ice will help stretch out the shoes, making those nasty rubbing blisters a thing of the past!

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.


Generally, human beings have different types of feet. Some of them have high arch feet while others have flat feet. An ankle and feet specialist may be in a better position to help you know your feet type. However, you can still establish on your own by; stepping your wet feet on construction paper. Your imprint should help you understand whether your feet are flat or high arched.
Back blisters are the bane of every heel-wearer’s existence. (It’s bad enough your toes are suffering, but your heels, too?) To help prevent friction—that causes the blisters—against your heels, rub a little lip balm to the back of your feet where the skin meets the shoes. This will form an extra layer that’ll help prevent any painful blisters from ruining your day.
"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."
She also suggested that going for a platform with your high heel, or a shorter heel, can drastically change your comfort levels, explaining: "Choose to wear a height that is manageable, this is pretty subjective, but having a less high heel or a platform sole can make a huge difference to comfort." Anisha agreed, and advised to "get platform shoes that also have a heel under the ball of the foot to reduce the gradient of the foot".
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!  
×