Pretty party slides seem like the perfect solution to wear for the holidays, esp if you can't wear heels or have high heel pain. They look the absolute picture of comfort - and what's not to love in new slide styles - silvery sparkles, floral cut outs and Christmas red in velvet suede? And of course slides have flat, flat heels!
But their dainty, pretty looks can be deceiving. It will not be the heel height that will cause trouble, it will be the overall instability of shoes that give you foot nothing to hang onto and no straps to keep your foot inside. Slides are shoes you can slide into and also slide out of backwards or slide off at the sides - even when you don't intend to.
Slides may become painful to wear after a while of walking because your foot will need to arch upwards and curl up at the toes to keep the slides on your feet. This is very tiring on the foot muscles because the toes have nothing to cling to inside the shoe as they try to keep your foot inside. When you lose a shoe it may become a painful tripping hazard.
Mules are like high heel slides in that they are also unstable to wear and the foot muscles get tired from clinging to the shoe trying to keep it on the foot, however mules have high heels so the foot naturally stays more forwards inside the shoe. But mules have other hazards issues such as the foot falling off sideways at the heel end from a height which can cause a twisted ankle.
This is one customers experience with slides that illustrates the problem she had and her solution:
" I had a pair of brand new shoes, the slide style that’s trending today, and I could not keep them on my feet. I’ve tried xxx gel inserts on other shoes and the gel is annoying to me. I found these inserts with Poron foam and it was like magic. My toes had something to grip so the uncomfortable 1 “ heel shoe I couldn’t wear was transformed into my favorite go-to every day pair. What a difference they made. I ordered 2 more pair; one is the high heel type since I have some heels that I dread wearing. I know I will buy more since these feel so natural on my foot..."
The Poron foam inserts she is referring to in an Amazon review are Killer Heels Comfort ball of foot cushions, and high heel shoe inserts. This customer has identified the main problem with slides which is that the foot has nothing to grip to help keep it inside.
The five tips for wearing slides comfortably that come from this customer and others are:
#1 Always buy shoes in the correct size. In slides it is very important that your foot fits completely inside the shoe with about a half inch of room for the toes at the front of the shoe. The heel should not overhang at the back.
#2 Slides such as the pointed toe ones from Aquazzura should be bought in a half size larger than your usual size to allow for the foot to fit inside the pointy toe part without being squeezed in at the sides.
#3 Ball of foot shoe cushions should be fitted inside your slides to stabilize them. The ball of foot cushions should have a toe grip so the toes have something to hang onto to prevent shoes from falling off and prevent feet from getting tired. Ball of foot cushions with a toe grip will stop the toes from overhanging the front of the shoe with a large front opening like the Aldo slides.
#4 Slides usually have little room inside but will need cushioning because of their thin bottoms. The insole should be made comfortable by a cushion that never flattens such as one made from Poron so the foot can be made comfortable without crowding. If you have a high arch a slide design such as the Isaac Mizrahi may leave very little room under the ball of the foot for cushioning without crowding the inside of the shoe.
When a customer wrote in an Amazon review that the ball of foot inserts I sold were "like magic" I was inspired to write a scientific explanation about the impact on foot comfort from using rebounding PORON foam shoe inserts. I answer the question of how do the inserts work? How can tiny 2.5" x 1/4 " pieces of foam hold back the full weight of a grown woman when her feet are on steep slanted ramps, AKA high heel shoes? And in addition to holding back the feet from sliding forwards the shoe inserts cushion the foot, make walking with a natural gait in heels possible, make legs less tired, keep slides on feet and stabilize high heels so they don't wobble!
Even the most experienced high heel wearers - women who wear the most stylish coveted brands of heels fitted exclusively for them - can have problems with their shoes. Superstar Mariah Carey on an evening outing in Los Angeles can be seen with her feet slipping out of her high heel sandals. High heel wearers' everywhere can empathize with her. Problems with walking naturally in heels, feet slipping forwards and pain in various parts of the feet are common issues with high heel shoes. If you have these problems they will spoil the way you and your outfits look - nobody looks good hobbling in heels or grimacing in pain or with their toes hanging out - but worse is that improperly fitted high heels can cause injuries from falls or lead to chronic foot pain. There are rational steps you can take, and precautions you should follow, to make your high heel heels comfortable to walk in and your feet pain free and protected from injury.
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.
2. Outfit your high heels with contoured foam high heel inserts.
3. Try out your high heels for at least ten minutes of walking about in the shoe store to make sure you can walk easily in them.
4. If you are buying spike heeled shoes make sure the heel end of the shoe does not wobble about when you walk and the shoes feel balanced.
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.
The 'secret' to making sure you have the best chance of getting high heel shoe inserts that will work for you and give your foot maximum comfort is put them in heels that fit - never too tight - and choose inserts by the criteria of what is the softest and what you can customize as much as possible to fit according to your unique foot to cushion and stop forward slide. Bonus if the inserts stabilize your high heels to stop wobbles.
Review the ranking of the Best and the Worst in high heel shoe cushioning. See if you can find the one you wear most often, and compare it to the other six.