No one is going to argue that high heels look good, but much of the time they just don’t feel good. Modern technology is making heels feel better and fit better, whether it’s built into the shoe or you add it after you buy. Comfortable heels range from casual wedges to professional pumps and evening appropriate styles.
Size and Width
Choose the right size and width when shopping for heels. Visit a reputable shoe store and have your feet measured before you buy. Feet can change size and shape with age or weight gain and loss. Well-fitting heels have a thumb’s width of room between your big toe and the end of the shoe. If you need extra room, choose a wider shoe or have your heels stretched at a shoe repair shop for a better fit.
Choose a shoe with a rounded toe for a more comfortable fit. Pointed-toe shoes can push your big toe inward, causing pain and even bunions. Open toes, peep toes, or shoes with cutouts in the toe box may allow for additional movement and feel better. Opt for a 1- to 2-inch heel, like a low wedge or kitten heel, instead of a 3- to 4-inch style, particularly if you plan to wear heels all day or evening.
Ample padding in the ball of the foot can make the difference between a pair of heels you love and a pair that stays unworn. Some of the most comfortable heels on the market rely upon athletic technology to create a cushy insole and allow you to walk and wear heels all day. If your favorites aren’t padded adequately, you can reduce pressure on the ball of your foot by adding inserts to cushion the ball of the foot.
Look for a heel that is soft and conforms to the shape of your foot. If the shoe doesn’t feel comfortable in the store, it won’t feel any better after you’ve worn it, in most cases. Rubber soles are more flexible and may absorb shock better than a hard sole, reducing wear on your feet. If you opt for a higher heel, comfort brands may attach the heel with multiple screws to lower the pressure on your feet.
Reduce discomfort by alternating heels and flats or choosing different styles and heel heights. If you wear pointed-toe heels one day, opt for a round-toed flat the next. Regularly wearing heels, even comfortable ones, may do lasting damage to your knees and stiffen the Achilles tendon. Alternating shoe styles can reduce the impact of your high heels.