Photos by To Vogue or Bust
Shot in collaboration with Dr. Scholl’s
I very clearly remember the highest pair of shoes I ever had. They were a pair of orange (!) L.A.M.B. heels and they were at least four inches. I honestly don’t even know how I walked in them. But I loved them. At a young age, you convince yourself to not care what they feel like as long as they look amazing (and I was sure they did 🙂 ).
Needless to say, I grew up and realized that my feet no longer had that capability. So I don’t wear heels all that often and when I do they’re not 4 inches; I need to be comfortable! However, there are the odd pair of shoes that I can’t resist (like these Zara boots…). And so instead of suffering through the pain, I’ve put together a few tips to make your shoes more comfortable (spoiler: it’s all about the balls of your feet):
1. Tape your third + fourth toes together using medical tape. I have heard this relieves the strain on a nerve, which prevents pain in the ball of your foot. A band aid instead of medical tape is also a great quick fix while you’re out.
2. Use inserts – Dr. Scholl’s makes, in my opinion, the best ones. My favourite are the For Her Ball Of Foot Cushions, which are thin enough to fit comfortably in your shoes, but make a big difference when wearing heels. Pretty much all your weight is going to the ball of your foot so that added cushion makes all the difference.
I also like their philosophy that when your feet hurt or bother you, it can affect your whole body (dr.scholls.ca), which they have coined as “Soleistic Health”. Taking care of my feet is definitely an important part of my self-care regime. Wearing comfortable insoles is an easy way to show my feet some TLC.
Tip: If you’re going to use inserts, consider going a half size up to ensure the shoes aren’t too tight.
3. Walk heel to toe (not toe to heel). It will look more natural once you get the hang of it, and it takes some pressure off the balls of your feet. It’s also much more energy efficient (1).
4. This may seem obvious, but don’t buy shoes that are too high! Believe me, it’s harder than you think, but you just won’t wear them. I won’t go over 3″, since I know I can’t walk in them even for just a few hours. Look for platforms (which also take some of the strain off the ball of your foot), wedges, or chunkier heels. Or go for kitten heels!
Tip: when buying, be aware of the heel cup (right under your heel). If it’s too stiff, it will hurt and promote blisters. Look for softer materials like leather + suede.
Do you guys suffer through the pain of heels? Or are you on the flatform/sneaker train?
1. Cunningham CB, Schilling N, Anders C, Carrier DR. The influence of foot posture on the cost of transport in humans. 2010; J Exp Biol. 213 (5): 790-797.