They called me a gazelle in my early thirties as I climbed over the rubble of the construction sites I managed in high heels. I had a dozen pairs of the same brand in all available colors; they had to be repaired or substituted rather often. I was obsessed with two power objects; my heels and my lipstick. “I’m not going out without them!”
I am still a lipstick lover and own the coolest heels; they are so pretty for photo shoots. Walking in them for longer than an hour though often feels like a torture trip .
Talking to a friend of mine who is a shoe designer for several big brands, he told me not only about the fierce and sometimes brutal competition behind the scenes but also that most designers don’t care much about about how comfy the shoes are; if they look hot they’re fine.
“If you want to be beautiful you’ll have to suffer,” my mom always said.
I could go through a feminist list of why not to buy into heels but heck, I love them. Perhaps I am brainwashed or it’s ingrained into my genes but sometimes a woman just has to do what she wants even against her lofty theories of empowerment.
Heels make me FEEL empowered and isn’t mindset everything? I love power objects as my psychological sassy crutch.
As I can’t can’t live without ’em how can I live with them without pain?
1. Educate Yourself on Your Foot Type
I have never been to a podiatrist to understand my foot type, I have a regular arched foot. But checking how high arched or flat your foot helps with adding insoles. In my area the CVS pharmacies have DR. SCHOLL’S CUSTOM FIT KIOSK LOCATOR where you can get the perfect insoles.
2. Use insoles
Get your insoles, DR. SCHOLL’S actually really works in my experience, the company exists since decades and I trust their experience. They have all kinds of help from a moleskin, a soft cotton flannel insert with adhesive backing to gel heel liners. Ball of the foot pads for example are oval-shaped pads that go under the ball of the foot, usually made from a silicone gel. They hold your foot more steady in the shoe, prevent sliding forward, stabilize your stride and protect your toes from blisters.
Some women use sandpaper to stop their feet form sliding. Looks like a great emergency measure when insoles or “foot petals tip toes” aren’t readily available
3. Opt for Platform Soles
A thicker sole offsets some of the pressure when you’re walking. My heels with thick and rubbery soles are close to comfy.
4. Avoid stilettos, go for a chunkier heel style
I love booties and boots, which gets me to point 5
5. Go for top coverage
The more coverage you have on the top of your foot, the better. Boots are perfect. Ankle straps or big wide straps help when you wear summer heels.
6. Take breaks and stretch your feet
7. Break your new shoes in with a hair dryer
Wear your new shoes in the house with socks, and apply heat with a blow dryer to loosen up tight spots.
8. Use the magic of tape
Tape is a magical helper in many clothing emergencies. Taping your third and fourth toes (counting from the big toe) is supposed to help as there is a nerve between those two, which causes pain when pressure is put on it. Not tested by me.
9. Try wedges.
There are sassy looking ones out there and they’re comfy.
Keep your bliss using Band Aid blister healing pads
What’s your experience with heels? Do you have trick that work for you?
Check on Harper’s Bazaar’s cool show stories.
On a side note; my blog on “how to make trends work” for empowerment mentioned that we are part of the trends; they’re not created for us but with our thoughts, desires and lifestyles, they follow our evolution.
See the trend of chunky punk work boots; they are a perfect answer to and expression of women marches and women power.