Nothing embodies the saying “no pain, no gain” more than the various advanced beauty treatments catered to women, from eyebrow tattooing to laser hair removal. And another one to add to the list: high heels (cue the agreeing groans of “yesssss” from women everywhere). Despite the obvious discomfort and impending blisters that occur from wearing heels, women still throw them on when they need to boost the glam factor of their outfit or when they need a — literal — boost in the height department.
While a pair of high heels no doubt provides you with a chic and stylish appearance, you have most likely wondered if it is even possible to wear them without having to deal with the pain. Is there even such a thing as pain-free high heels? Doesn’t the pain just come as part of the package?
Well, you will be glad to know that wearing a pair of high heels sans pain does not have to be a mere fantasy. Intrigued? Check out the following tips so you can throw on your favourite pair of heels without dreading the impending pain the next time you head out.
Wear the Right Size
We know, you’re probably thinking, “Well, that’s obvious!”. But, you will be surprised with the number of women who insist on wearing a smaller-sized shoe despite them not fitting right. Before purchasing a pair of heels, make sure to get your feet sized. This means not just trying the heels on to see whether they fit. Have the length of your feet measured as well as the width. This will provide you with a more accurate measurement and allow you to find the right size of heels that will fit you to a T.
Opt for Chunky Heels
Heels that are thicker in width are generally a whole lot more comfortable than thin ones a.k.a. stilettos. With chunky heels, there is more surface area for your feet to rest on, thus taking away some of the pressure off of your feet.
However, we know that certain outfits just look great with stilettos. If you have to wear them, go ahead but make sure to only wear them occasionally. If you wear heels everyday (to the office, for example), opt for a slightly chunkier heel to give your feet a break.
Go for Thicker Soles
With their stick-thin heels and thin soles, there is no wonder stilettos are the bane of heels-loving women everywhere. You not only have to deal with the excessive pressure your feet are exposed to from the thin heels, but also with the pain that forms on the ball of your feet from the thin soles. Not really a winning combination, is it?
The next time you wish to don a pair of high heels, opt for ones designed with a thicker sole. Or if the occasion is appropriate, go for a pair of platforms instead. The thicker sole will reduce the pressure from your feet and the rubber material of the platforms will help absorb some of that pressure as well.
Know Your Foot Type
Just as how you need to know your skin type to find suitable skincare products, your feet are also categorised in a particular type too, based on the height of the arch. Foot type is divided into three main categories: normal, low and high. The best way to know which category your feet falls into is by getting a consultation from a podiatrist.
However, there is also a simple test you can do at home to find out what kind of arch you have. All you need to do is wet your foot and step onto a piece of paper to make an impression. This will show you how low or high the arch of your foot is, thus giving you a rough idea of whether you are flat-footed or high-arched. Once you know your foot type, you can then find a pair of heels more suited to the arch of your feet.
Wear Strappy Heels
Another problem with stilettos is the fact that they are often designed without an ankle strap, which when coupled with their thin heels, can make your feet feel less secure in them. For something that will give you more security and comfort, opt for a pair of heels that come with an ankle strap or a wide strap across the top of your feet. Another option is a pair of heeled boots as this will provide your feet with more coverage all around, providing more security to your feet.
Stretch Your Feet
After taking your heels off at the end of a long and tiring day, be sure to do some stretches for your feet to take the pressure off of them. Focus on stretches that will target your ankles as well as the front of your feet such as arching your feet with your toes pointing downwards.
You should also stretch the tendon of your Achilles’ heels and your calf muscles as your heels would have put a significant amount of pressure on both these areas as well. Do this by placing a long strap on the balls of your feet and gently pull it upwards.