Five tips for perfect fitting, no pain, high heel shoes. It will soon be time for holiday heels. See my five tips below the photo on how to have a fun and pain free holiday in sparkly heels. It is difficult to wear high heels sometimes without them causing discomfort or slipping off your feet – this can happen even if you wear gorgeous luxury brand heels as seen here on Mariah Carey.
Feet sliding forward and out of your shoes will spoil the look of your lovely outfit - and it will spoil the look of your shoes to have your toes hanging out the front. Or even worse - it will spoil the function of your lovely ankles if you fall off your high heels and suffer an ankle sprain.
On the left in the photo is a great shoe for the holidays. This clear sided, rhinestone toe slingback from Aldo shoes graciously incorporates two current shoe trends of clear plastic shoes and ‘sparkly things’ on shoes. The slingback style and a closed toe cap is very flattering on many types of feet. The black colour and silver crystals with simple classic styling will go with anything – in any colour - from fancy gowns to jeans. To prevent a problem with these heels - like that demonstrated by a certain lady in a red dress on the right- the Sywiel 3.5”heel slingbacks should be outfitted with contoured foam high heel shoe inserts to stop the foot from sliding forwards, to cushion the ball of the foot and stabilize the shoe so that a comfortable walking gait is possible. This is tip #2 of five tips for perfect fitting heels.
Five tips for perfect fitting, no pain, high heels:
1. Buy shoes that fit. Buy high heels by matching the LENGTH of your foot in inches with a size chart, and then try on only those shoes and larger ones. NEVER EVEN TRY ON shoes that are too small size for you – no matter how cute they are or even if they are on sale at 90% off! For example a size 9.5 shoe is the right size for a foot that is 10 inches long. High heels with narrow tapered toes should be bought a half size larger than round or almond toe shoes. Some shoe sizes / length of foot in inches:
US size 7 – 9.25” ; US size 7.5 – 9.37”; US size 8 – 9.5” ; US size 8.5 - 9.68” ; US size 9 – 9.87” ; US size 9.5 -10” ;US size 10 – 10.18” ;US size 10.5 - 10.31” ;US size 11 – 10.5
2. Outfit your high heels with contoured foam high heel inserts. These inserts will do the three main things that you need to defy gravity which is: stop your foot from sliding forwards, cushion the ball of your foot on a cushion of air that never flattens, and stabilize your high heels so you can walk in heels without wobbling.
3. Try out your high heels for at least ten minutes of walking about in the shoe store. Or as long as the clerks will let you! You will be looking for shoes that feel ‘walkable’and you do not feel like you will tip over or stumble in them. Also make sure there are no bits that pinch or rub.
4. If you are buying spike heeled shoes make sure the heel end of the shoe does not wobble about when you walk. This may indicate that the shoe is poorly designed and the heel of the shoe is not centered directly under the heel of the foot. A high heel shoe should feel balanced and comfortable to walk in and have a flexible sole. A platform high heel shoe should have a rocker bottom to make walking easier with a stiff sole.
5. Avoid buying high heel shoes with heels over 3.5” unless you intend to mostly sit while wearing them, and you will not be walking or standing for longer than 20 minutes without a rest period. Shoes that have heels about 3.5”or less can be made comfortable with contoured foam high heel shoe inserts that cushion and stabilize them, however after heels are higher the pain they cause cannot be alleviated by shoe inserts or insoles because the pain will be in the ankles caused by the extreme angle of the foot bent downwards at the ankle. This position misaligns the bones and ligaments of the foot and ankle so when the weight of the body is applied as pressure on the ankle the ankle becomes painful.
Solutions for alleviating high heel pain that work for everyone - and solutions that work only for some
In the photo, on the right a lovely lady, Mariah Carey, wearing her gorgeous high heeled sandals, demonstrates a common high heel shoe issue. Her left foot is sliding forward awkwardly with two toes touching the sidewalk - her high heel sandals look as if they are precariously on her feet & may even be hazardous to walk in - but luckily for her a handsome man steadies her! But supposing your handsome man is not by your side, then if your heel moves forward in your shoes, your toes stick out the front and your shoes become unstable you are in trouble. This is a common problem – the not having a handsome man by your side to keep you upright – therefore you should try other solutions.
A very effective solution for high heel shoes that are uncomfortably hard , unstable, or the foot slides forwards is to put contoured foam high heel shoe inserts for women into the shoe to hold the foot back, cushion the ball of the foot and stabilize the shoes. In high heels the angle of the insole of the shoe is steep and slopes downward to the front of the shoe. Gravity pulls the foot downwards on the slope. A well designed foam insert will stop the foot from sliding forward with a stopper toe grip at the front of the ball of the foot, and another stopper arch piece at the front of the heel. The two pieces work together to stabilize the foot and make it possible to have a normal gait in heels. Two piece foam high heel shoe inserts are a very new invention available only since 2015. The only one available is from Killer Heels Comfort. Prior to the invention of a foam high heel insert that will physically stop the foot from moving forwards many attempts were made to provide comfort for high heels in other ways.
Shoe inserts women need have been attempted in many forms. High heels present many problems. Most prevalent over the last 20 years have been high heel insoles and inserts designed to lift the foot up under the arch of the foot with a dome attached to an insole. This style of insole and dome combination has had only limited success in keeping the foot from sliding forward and stopping the heel of the foot from moving out of the heel area of the shoe. High heel shoe insoles or inserts with a dome on top are typically made from a gel or a resin. The dome is molded to the insole and is a fixed shape, height and length. It is supposed to add foot comfort by lifting the foot up under the arch, however it will not add foot comfort if it does not fit your unique arch shape, height and length. Unfortunately therefore the gel or resin dome rarely fits well. Feet come in thousands of configurations and lengths. Feet cannot be accommodated for length or shape by a dome of a fixed shape that comes at most in a half dozen sizes and cannot be customized.
The biggest problem with the high heel insoles with domes is that they are not customizable. Most of the time the dome will be too high or too low, or too far forward or too far back and will add discomfort, rather than comfort. Insoles with gel or resin dome that fits under the arch are shoe inserts for women that will provide foot comfort only if it happens to fit your foot exactly or if the material has some give to it like gel shoe inserts for women typically have. When the dome fits exactly or close to that it functions to provide comfort by extending the area of the heel of the shoe so that the weight of the wearer is over the heel of the foot, plus over the arch of the foot. This takes some weight off the ball of the foot and provides relief from excessive pressure on the ball of the foot. Insoles with gel or resin domes tend to de stabilize high heel shoes because the dome pushes the foot up and out of the shoe, the centre of gravity of the foot is raised upwards and because materials like gel and resin have a slippery surface which further de stabilizes high heels.
There are many bad hacks for high heels put forward on the internet as 'helpful advice' from bloggers for desperate high heel shoe wearers.who want pain relief. Three common bad hacks are splinting of toes, wearing thick socks inside high heels, and stretching too tight high heels by freezing water inside them. Believing and carrying out the bad hack of taping toes or wearing thick socks to stretch shoe may permanently damage your feet to that you can't wear any shoes at all - flats or high heels - without pain. For the bad hack of freezing water in tight shoes to make them fit well - the harm is in believing that too tight high heel shoes can be made to fit properly and continue to buy too tight high heels !