6 Tricks to Make Wearing Your Favorite Heels Less Painful

Remember all those times Carrie Bradshaw happily wandered absurd amounts of New York City blocks in her sky-high Manolos, like walking more than even, oh I don’t know, three blocks in ultra-high heels didn’t hurt a bit? Well, much like a designer wardrobe on a writer’s salary, that is pure fiction, ladies—the reality is anything three inches or higher for any distance can hurt like the dickens. But that doesn’t mean we want to sacrifice the amazing effects that a sexy heel can offer, from an aesthetic standpoint, as well as a confidence-boosting one. Turns out there are a few tried-and-true tricks to keep you from needing time to heal after wearing your heels. Be nice to your feet and try some of these out!

Invest in Foot Petals:

Like fashion tape, Foot Petals have been a longish-time celebrity go-to that all women should be aware of and using right now. These plush shoe cushions come in an array of shapes to target all the problem spots that high heels can hurt—the balls of your feet, back of your heel, anywhere a nasty strap can cut in (which means you can even use them with flip flops if you’re a wuss like me).

Skip the stiletto and buy a heel that is chunkier:

The wider the heel, the more stable your foot will be, no matter how high you go (within reason). Or opt for a platform, which brings your foot up, so the angle of your arch isn’t at such a drastic degree which will make your heels hurt so much less. Prince and Elton John are big believers in both of these tricks, and if that’s not enough of an endorsement, I don’t know what is.

Stretch your shoes:

Depending on the shape of the shoe and of your foot, the old shoe stretch can be your best friend. A cobbler can do this for you for as little as $10. Or, buy your own adjustable wood stretchers and keep them in the shoes in question between wears (Target has some that even come with bunion pegs, for lack of a better term, that you can move around the tip to approximate any bumps on the sides of your toes).

Take a break:

This is kind of obvious advice, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t something we all need to be reminded of once in a while. Give your feet a rest, and don’t wear heels for more than two days in a row.

Walk like a model:

Easier said than done, I know. But there are so many videos out there demonstrating how standing up straight, shifting your weight, and workin’-it-girl can alleviate the pressure you place on your tootsies when walking in heels that honestly, anyone can learn to do this. Tyra Banks has one worth checking out that also includes a few other stiletto hacks from her modelling days that are actually really useful. And this whole time, you thought they were strutting like that because they were too sexy for their shirts.

Lose an inch

Ever own a pair of heels that you absolutely adore and, even though you knew they were way too high, you bought them anyway and teetered and suffered and still couldn’t bring yourself to get rid of them? Here’s where your cobbler friend will come in handy again. A cobbler can cut up to an inch off your stiletto (any more than that will most likely ruin the arch of the shoe) without leaving any visible sign of ever having done so. Except for the sign you want to be visible—those shoes are comfortably on your feet!