The familiar saying “beauty comes with pain” holds true when it comes to high heels. Unlike sneakers that allow you to walk comfortably for miles, high heels do not offer the same level of comfort and endurance.
How High Heels Cause Pain and Foot Problems
High heels are painful because they force pressure onto the balls of your feet. The front of your feet is where you’ll feel the most pain. You can even experience a stress fracture if you wear heels every day.
The taller the heel, the more pain you can expect in the balls of your feet. A simple solution is to reduce the height of your heel, even by an inch or two.
Celebrity feet (L to R: Natalie Portman, Julianne Moore, and Katy Perry) looking uncomfortable in high heels (Credit: WENN)
A 3-inch heel puts 76% of your foot’s pressure on the balls of your feet. Just think what that would be for your favorite stilettoes. No wonder it’s painful!
Bunions are a common consequence of wearing pointed-toe shoes regularly.
Celebrities (left to right: Amy Adams, Amal Clooney, and Naomi Campbell) with bunions (Credit: WENN)
If you’ve ever seen a pair of designer heels, you’ve probably wondered how on earth your foot is meant to fit in them. Most of the time, your high heels are painful because you’re wearing the wrong pair.
9 out of 10 women wear shoes too small for their feet. Don’t be afraid to go up a half-size or more to get a comfortable fit when shopping for high heels.
High heels are uncomfortable because they force your foot into an unnatural position. Your feet aren’t designed to be forced on top of a heel, balancing on a slim piece of metal. Nerve damage can occur in your foot thanks to regular heel wearing.
We’ve all slipped into a pair of high heels that are too high for us. Walking in heels an inch or two taller than what we’re used to can quickly become painful. Not only are you straining your ankle ligaments, but you’re also at risk of spraining your ankle.
Sarah Jessica Parker shows off her comfy SJP Rampling pumps (Credit: WENN / Avalon)
Your feet aren’t the only thing your high heels are putting pressure on. Your knees also suffer. The heel puts your center of gravity forward, throwing your legs out to compensate.
Regularly wearing high heels can trigger arthritis in your knee. Similarly, they’re also painful because they cause havoc for your posture.
While your legs are thrown forward, your upper body goes back to try to compensate.
If you’ve ever wondered why your back is sore after wearing heels, it’s because your muscles are working overtime, forcing your spine into an unnatural position.
How To Make High Heels Less Painful?
Before we teach you how to walk in high heels, you must know how to make them more comfortable. It is possible to wear heels every day. You just need to know how to make them work.
You can still have a Carrie Bradshaw-worthy closet without making your feet suffer daily.
1. Consider the thickness of the heel
You don’t have to compromise on height for comfort. Look for a block heel instead of a thin stiletto.
A thicker heel will make it easier to balance, relieve pressure off your feet, and make walking easier by making you feel more stable.
Remember, your heel has to carry your entire body weight on it.
2. Massage away heel pain
When you get home, treat your feet to a massage. After all, you’ve given them a workout!
You want to get the circulation working in your feet by massaging them and treating the areas between your toes as well.
Nekteck Shiatsu Foot Massager Machine, $79.99 on Amazon
Make sure to give your feet some massage to relieve foot pain and improve blood circulation
3. Wear high-quality shoes that fit
If your shoes don’t fit, get rid of them. Over time, our feet can change in size. If your body weight has changed, your feet are also likely to have.
Wearing shoes that don’t fit you is a sure way of ending up in agony.
4. Switch your shoes every day
Swap up your high heels regularly. We all have one pair of heels, our favorite and our go-to.
Wearing the same pair of heels continuously can damage your feet more by forcing them repeatedly into the same unnatural shape. Try to swap out your heels for different heights and widths.
5. Give your feet a break
Take breaks from wearing high heels. If you wear them during the week for work, swap them out at the weekend for an espadrille or ballet flat.
During the summer, you might ditch them entirely in favor of sandals. All good things should be in moderation, including high heels!
6. Consider the heel height
When in doubt, go for a shorter heel. No one can start wearing a 100mm heel without practicing with a smaller height.
You want to move up heel heights slowly. Otherwise, you’ll strain your back and ruin your posture.
If you want to wear high heels, your handbag will be full of anti-blister plasters and moleskin liners.
7. Break them in at home
If you want to run out and show off your heels, break them in first. Wear them around your home for a few hours before your first trip into the wild.
It helps to wear them in with thick socks, which can stretch the heels so they don’t pinch your feet.
8. Learn how to walk in heels
The easiest way to make your heels more comfortable is to know how to walk in them. Lucky for you, we have a handy guide on just that!