As a major high heels hoarder, I’ve had my fair share of really great, comfortable and good looking shoes, as well as ones that made me want to chop my feet off after about half an hour. If you’re looking to get yourself a great pair that will carry you through many parties, weddings and formal events, there are some things to consider that will make your search easier.
- Check the last and shape. Especially important for heels, always check the arch of the shoe and the incline of the heel. Heel height is not the only thing you should be thinking of, as you should also look at the slope made between the highest point of the heel and the point where the ball of your foot touches the floor. A longer, softer incline that descends gradually will likely feel more comfortable as hours go by, while a sharp descent will make for a much more uncomfortable shoe that will leave your feet feeling pretty miserable.
- Look for any pressure points. If you do go to a shoe shop and try the heels on, don’t just take a couple of steps and call it a day. Take your time and walk around the store, to reveal any potential pressure points. These will ultimately lead to blisters and even bunions over time, which will be extremely painful and more difficult to treat. Take the time to make sure those shoes are right for your feet.
- Find your ideal heel height. Every person has a certain heel height that works best with their feet. To find yours, you can visit a podiatrist that will help measure your foot, or go the DIY route. You will need to measure out the distance between the bottom of your heel and the ball of your foot- make sure your foot is in a relaxed position, and not stretched or tense. This will help you estimate the heel height that will still be comfortably supported by your feet: mine turned out at around 12 cm, which I feel is what qualifies as the maximum height I can comfortably stand for a longer while.
- Opt for sturdy materials. While high heels, and especially evening ones, are often made of thinner fabrics such as satin and faux-leather, do consider buying shoes that are at least lined with leather. This is especially important for sandals, or if you aren’t planning on wearing any socks or tights with your shoes, as the skin will be in direct contact with the inner part of the shoe. You don’t want any blisters or chafing, and leather is usually more comfortable than man-made materials.
- And finally, consider a style that will naturally give you more support. Barely-there sandals are so trendy right now, but they give pretty much zero support to your foot. Pair that with a super skinny, high stiletto heel and you’re bound to quickly feel sorry for yourself. Try on platforms, slingback shoes or ones with ankle straps, and you might be surprised by how they can combine good looks with a comfortable feel.
I hope these tips help you find your shoe soulmates without sacrificing your comfort in the process. Please let me know if you’ve had any horror stories with killer high heels and how they made you wiser when shopping for shoes.