Hacks to Make Walking in Heels Actually Comfortable

Finding the perfect pair of high heels is like falling in love. When the sartorial stars align, you feel so lucky, giddy, and a little wary that everything’s coming together a little too well. Sometimes, those heels really are too good to be true. Even if they’re comfortable at the store, most pairs become increasingly painful the longer you wear them. What’s a girl to do? Before you return that perfect pair — it’s OK, we don’t blame you — try your luck with the hacks below.

1. Put deodorant inside

Woman with shoe sitting outdoors and massaging ankle

This tip can minimize the chances of getting blisters. | iStock.com/DragonImages

Nothing can ruin a day (make that a couple of days) like bad blisters. When it comes to these painful sores, wearing a pair of shoes can feel a lot like Russian roulette. Blisters can occur with shoes you’ve had and worn comfortably for years, but they’re also common among those fresh-out-of-the-box pairs, too. To keep them at bay, which will ultimately make your shoe-wearing experience significantly more comfortable, simply rub some deodorant along the interior. Wardrobe consultant and personal shopper Diane Pollack tells SheKnows this prevents your foot from rubbing against the shoe’s interior, which results in chafing and, you guessed it, blisters.

2. Tape your toes

lady legs standing next to red moto scooter

As long as you’re not wearing open-toed shoes, this is a great trick. | iStock.com/grinvalds

If you’re looking to dance the night away, you might want to consider taping your toes together. According to WhoWhatWear, there is this tiny nerve between your third and fourth toes that causes discomfort when pressure is applied. As you might’ve guessed, wearing high heels is a huge culprit. By using medical tape on your third and fourth toes, you’re blocking off the access to that nerve and creating a more comfortable wear. Sure, if you wear your heels for long enough, you will experience some pain; however, xoJane writer Christina Seimenis noticed the discomfort is significantly more bearable with this trick.

3. Break them in at home

Woman wearing high heels

Try wearing your high heels around your home. | iStock.com/MoustacheGirl

Have you ever been so excited to buy a pair of shoes that you can’t wait to wear them? That can be a good thing for your feet long term. If you want to prevent any first-wear aches and pains, xoJane recommends breaking them in at home. For the best results, slip some socks underneath your shoes and take a blow dryer to any tight spots — the heat and extra layer will help loosen your shoes and allow them to mold to your natural foot shape. Whether you’re doing dishes or simply partaking in a midday dance party, we also encourage you to take this time to walk around in your heels.

4. Toss them in the freezer

Black high heels

This trick can really help. | iStock.com/javi_indy

The more time you spend on your feet, and the more time that elapses, the more swollen your feet become — just look down after a long day of walking. Since you’ve yet to break in your new shoes, the tight shape and your swollen feet can be a recipe for disaster.

Luckily, all you need to do is stick them in the freezer (yes, you read that correctly). Stylist and wardrobe consultant Allie Brandwein tells SheKnows stretching out your shoes is as easy as placing zip-lock bags that are half-full with water inside your shoes, then throwing the pair in the freezer overnight. Brandwein explains the shoes will naturally expand as the water freezes. 

5. Invest in some gel pads

woman commuting going to office by walk

This is a must for those who walk a lot. | iStock.com/diego_cervo

Sometimes, it’s not the fit that’s the problem, it’s the natural pain you get from staying on your toes — literally. Unless you’re a pointe ballerina, placing so much pressure on the balls of your feet is unnatural, and it can really hurt. While we can’t guarantee heels will ever be as comfortable as flats, there is a solution. For a more comfortable fit, gurl.com says to place some gel or silicone metatarsal pads at the balls of your feet. They both offer some shock absorption and cushioning, which will make your time in heels a more pleasant experience.

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