It’s the age old problem every single woman faces throughout her shoe-filled life: the pain and discomfort associated with wearing fabulous heels. Many of us (guilty, here) have throughout the years adopted a “grin and bear it” attitude, choosing our love for stylish shoes over our desire to be comfortable.
But, as it turns out, fabulous heels and pain-free feet aren’t mutually exclusive. We spoke to About.com podiatry expert Dr. Catherine Moyer, who gave us eight tips for how to continue to wear stylish shoes — without paying the price in comfort.
1. Make sure you are wearing the right size shoe.
The #1 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.
2. Educate yourself on your own personal foot type.
Know your foot type. In my opinion, a podiatrist would 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.
3. The thicker the heel, the better.
Avoid thin heels, the stilettos. They cause your foot to wobble around. Sometimes, the dress is just going to call for a stiletto, as long as it’s something that’s occasional. If you’re wearing stilettos every day, you might want to consider a chunkier heel style and change it up a bit.
4. Avoid thin soles, opting instead for a platform.
Thin soles will almost always give you pain on the bottom of your foot. You want a thicker sole or a little bit of a platform, which will offset some of the pressure when you’re walking. A rubbery kind of material will absorb that pressure.
5. Take breaks.
Kick your shoes off throughout the day and stretch your ankles and toes.