How to Wear High Heels Without Hurting Your Feet

Wear high heels without hurting your feet.
Wear high heels without hurting your feet. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

High heels are a great fashion accessory for women (and even for some men) but they can come at a cost, and not just the cost that you pay at the cash register. Wearing high heels improperly can cause you a lot of physical pain and may even pose serious risks to your overall health over time. Don't worry; you don't have to toss out all of your heels to stay healthy. You just need to learn the right wear to wear them so that you're not hurting at the end of the day.

Things You'll Need

  • High heels
  • Socks or stockings
  • Insoles or gel inserts

Measure the size of your feet. Yes, you think that you know your shoe size but you could be wrong. Even a high heel that is just a half-size too large or small can cause a lot of damage, when the same style in the right size won't cause you any pain at all. Have your feet professionally measured or do it at home and then make sure all of the high heels that you get from now on are the right size.

Opt only to wear high heels of an appropriate height. The right height for you varies depending on the style of the shoe, the shape of your foot and your own height. The key is not to wear high heels that are higher than is comfortable. A good way to determine this is to put the heels on, stand straight up and then lift as high up on your toes as you can. If you can't get the back of those heels at least a 1/2 inch off of the floor, then they're too high and you shouldn't pick them.

Pay attention to the width of the heel when selecting your high heels. Anyone who has worn stilettos and then worn pumps knows that there's a big difference in the pain factor between these two. Choose heels that are wide enough to really support you.

Vary your shoes regularly. This is good news for those people who love to shoe shop -- you'll have a healthier experience with wearing high heels if you wear several different pairs throughout the week instead of sticking with the same pair.

Put on socks or stockings every time that you wear high heels. This will significantly reduce the pain that you feel when wearing heels.

Add insoles or gel inserts to all of your pairs of heels. This further reduces the pain of walking around all day in high heels. Play around with different inserts to find the ones that are most comfortable for you.

Hold your head up high. In other words, stand up straight when walking in high heels and you'll immediately reduce your risk of pain.

Tune in to your body. Your body is going to tell you as soon as those heels start hurting your feet. Don't ignore those warnings. Take the shoes off and give them a rest. Consider retiring them if they continues to be a problem. Put your comfort first!

Tips & Warnings

  • Working with a doctor experienced in the foot and spine is a great idea to help you choose the best types of heels for your unique body.
  • Commit to choosing new high heels that are right for you. This could mean throwing out every single pair that you own and starting over. It's worth it!
  • High heel pain is something many of us take for granted but it's really serious. Don't take it lightly!
  • You often get what you pay for with high heels so be prepared to spend money on the good ones if you want to walk without pain.

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