For all those guilty of hobbling, please say ‘I’ and come forward, this article is for you, gorgeous.
The past two weekends I’ve had a number of social engagements and mixed with the weather, I admit, it’s been hard to dress. Everything looks so much better with a simple strappy heel, but when it’s 11 degrees outside (and as an Australian, I can’t compute this), keeping all of your toes just outweighs fashion.
I would have thought that people would be stepping out in boots and warm comfy shoes, but when the wine glasses are filling and Whitney Houston is playing, reason goes out the window and one particular woman caught my eye as I left a friends party.
She was stunning, her hair was flawless despite the weather, her curvy figure was accentuated by a navy wrap dress with a glitzy pair of earrings and her shoes were gorgeous, but she was walking so slow that I thought she must be experiencing one of three things. Either she enjoyed walking at a glacial pace, she really had to use the ladies room and was worried drastic movements might cause an embarrassing scene, or she had very uncomfortable shoes on. All I wanted to do was throw some Party Feet her way so I could clap her as she strutted into the fancy bar across the road.
Uncomfortable shoes come in various disguises, often beautiful and eye-catching. They’re compliment worthy and very much the type you’d throw a good chunk of your paycheck at. But over my years, not only as a Stylist, but as someone who has worked in a shoe store where you’ve got to wear the new store’s shoes constantly – I know how to make shoes feel better, almost instantly… except that one time I talked my sister into getting these evening shoes for her bridesmaids that were perfect for the dress but so damn uncomfortable her friend, who was a ballerina, had to spend days off her feet – sorry about that, Amanda.
Today’s post I’ve written is to help you if you’re out and your feet are aching and if you’re about to head out and you know the shoes you’ll be wearing aren’t comfortable.
WHILE YOU’RE AT HOME
PARTY FEET: These are a little silicon (they also come in foam) pad that sits under the ball of your foot and gives you a little extra cushioning. These also help to push your foot back in the shoe and helps particularly if the shoes are high, you wear stockings with your shoes or they’re a peep toe style.
HEEL GRIP: Heel grips are fabulous for those whose heel is narrow and their foot lifts out of the back of the shoe when they walk. They help to make the heel area of your shoe cosier and protect your heel from your shoes lining.
STRETCHING SPRAY: Wanted Shoes makes the best one, in my opinion. This is a little spray designed to loosen and soften areas of your shoes that are too tight and are rubbing on your foot. Commonly this occurs around the back of the ankle and along the sides on your big and little toe. Use one pump of the spray bottle at a time, on the inside area of the shoe that is hurting you, rub it in lightly and put your foot in the shoe straight away. It will take about ten minutes to feel a difference in the shoe. If it’s still rubbing, add more spray, just don’t do multiple sprays at the same time as you can over-stretch the shoe.
IF YOU’RE ALREADY OUT
If you’re at a function or tearing up the dance floor, there are a few things you can do to take some of the pressure off.
IF YOU HAVE BLISTERS: If you already have blisters and there’s a bar nearby, ask the bartender for a band-aid. Alternatively, visit the bathroom to wipe the excess sweat from your shoe, while you’re in there check for a women’s sanitary dispenser. If there are liners on offer, they’re so small you can fold and stick them to the inside of your shoe which will help to soak up the sweat in your shoe and guard your feet.
IF THE BALLS OF YOUR FEET ARE ACHING: If your feet are seriously sore, find a seat and clench and flex your feet. Next, get a cup of ice, preferably in a glass and head to the loo. Hold it against the soles of your feet for a few minutes to reduce the swelling then dry your feet. Again, if there’s a women’s sanitary dispenser in the loo, a heavy flow pad can double as an innersole in a pinch. TMI- I know, but if I had to pick between pain and putting a pad in my shoe I know what I would do!
BEFORE YOU BUY YOUR NEXT PAIR
The first thing you should do when trying to make your shoes comfortable is to make sure you’re wearing the right size. Many women wear the same size flat as they do a heel but often, depending on fabric and where these shoes were manufactured, you can be a range of sizes. I range from a size 39 to 41 depending on the shoe. Always try on at least two sizes and have a walk around the store in the item. The best time to buy shoes is at the end of the day when your feet are likely a little swollen.
Another important factor to consider when finding comfortable heels is the heel height. The average person can walk comfortably in 3-inch heels but the arch of your foot and the length of it can change this. Try different heights and know that wearing a thicker high heeled shoe will make it easier for you to walk, prance and do successful high-kicks.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST
Your current shoe collection might be a mix of practical shoes, impulse buys and things that are just so pretty – but on your next trip down the shoe aisle the main thing you should look at is quality. Take care of your feet with quality shoes and give your shoes a breather between wears so they last longer. Your shoes will be more comfortable and an over-all smarter investment.
If you want, I also have some extra information about caring for your shoes. I’ve got your back (and the balls of your feet).