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How to buy your best high heel shoes in five easy tips. Buy heels that won't hurt!

How to buy your best high heel shoes in five easy tips. Buy heels that won't hurt!

Follow these tips ALL the time.  Never waver even for the ‘cutest’ heels, or you will be sorry!

Tests have shown that the average high heel wearer (in heels without inserts) will begin to have pain after 1 hour, 4 minutes and 48 seconds.  For a more delicate 20 per cent of respondents, the pain starts after just ten minutes. Many women say their feet were sore on a night out, or that they danced shoe less and walked home barefoot.   

The conclusion is that high heels hurt most wearers. Harsh but true, however there is genuine help. You can help yourself to have a comfortable fit in heels by buying shoes that are designed correctly, and then paying close attention to how the shoe fits your own specific feet.  This may include putting in high heel shoe inserts to address the issue – gravity- that affects 100% of high heel wearers. Gravity does not discriminate against anybody. You can find both high cost heels and low cost heels that are designed badly for your particular foot – avoid these. When trying on shoes walk about for at least five minutes. The shoes should fit closely at the heel end, be comfortable to walk in and have wiggle room for your toes. Walking about should not have produced any pain, any feeling of tightness anywhere or noticeable shoe instability.  

Many high heel problems are either directly or indirectly related to gravity pulling the foot downward. Even the ‘best’ feet for heels will have problems of toes overhang, feel strong pressure on the ball of the foot or have blisters on heels from shoe heel gaps unless they have appropriate inserts.  

  1. Buy shoes that fit.  If you buy them online this still applies. Be prepared to send back shoes that don’t fit properly. Properly fitting shoes will have at least ¼ to ½ inch of space in front of your longest toe (whichever toe that is). Never expect to break in the shoes — they will break you.
  2. The heel of the shoe should be centered directly under your heel.  If the stiletto is positioned too far back, you are going to be thrown off balance and everything will hurt.
  3. If you buy pointy-toed boots and pumps make sure that the fit is such that your forefoot is not being squeezed from side to side. If possible choose rounded toe box style shoes and boots.  Your toes should always have wiggle room, even - or especially - when walking.
  4. Buy shoes with bottoms that are more than 1/8 th inch soles.  Shoes with thin bottoms will feel like walking directly on concrete!  This is bad in flats, and worse in high heels.  Don’t rely on the cushioning in shoes if it is inexpensive foam that feels puffy when you buy the shoes but very quickly flattens with use. Non crushable foam cushioning is expensive therefore if is used in shoes the shoe company will highlight it!  If the shoe company is silent about what cushioning has been put into their shoes assume it is an expensive foam that quickly flattens in use. Non crushable shock absorbing polyurethane such as PORON* Cushioning is often found in more expensive sports shoes. PORON is a trademark of Rogers or its affiliates. 
  5. Buy shoes with the plan that you will put inserts into your shoes. This ensures that you buy shoes in the correct size for you.  Two part insets will help to stabilize your shoes so your will not have to buy high heels that fit tight as the only way to be sure they will stay on your feet. If you have any bumps on your feet, such as a bump at the base of the big toe, or bent over toes buy shoes that provide sufficient room for your foot, bumps and all. Buy a shoe that is a half size larger for this reason or if you are between sizes and plan to put in inserts to stabilize the slightly larger shoe so it will stay comfortably on your foot.

The above recommendations have been tested over many years of trial and error by me and are informed by scientific research. 

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