The Truth About Heels 0
in Shoes Style

The Truth About Heels

the truth about heels

The truth about heels. It seems that every time I write a post about heels, I get numerous comments from women basically dismissing the post and telling me that they just can’t wear heels. This makes me a little sad because while you can wear whatever you want if it makes you feel good, I don’t think you should have to stay away from a shoe just because you think you can’t. Now, of course, if you’ve had knee surgery or some other issues then you might not be able to wear a high heel, but if you really want to then there are ways to make them more comfortable.

the truth about heels


Why I get it. Alright, full disclosure here. I don’t have the perfect feet for heels as I have flat feet (although they are strong from dance and I consciously work them out. For more, read: Foot and Ankle Exercises.) and bunions and I find many of them to be extremely uncomfortable. I’ve dealt with that awful burning sensation on the balls of my feet. I’ve had shooting pains running up the side of my leg from the pressure on my bunions and unbelievable calf cramps. I’ve also had a sore back and experienced pain in my knees. So you see, I do get it. I have been there and I understand the concerns. I also understand that amazing feeling of slipping my feet into a stunning pair of heels, standing tall, head held high, feeling elegant and graceful and having all the confidence in the world.

Find the shoe shape for you. As much as I love them, I can’t wear strappy sandals. Frankly, they aren’t flattering on my feet and they dig into them rather painfully. So I simply stare longingly at them and move on.  In addition, since I do have bunions which I’m not looking to accentuate, I need a shoe that sits a little bit higher up over my toes. Everyone is unique and it’s okay to try on shoes that fit. Don’t be afraid to try on a lot of different styles until you find one that doesn’t pinch. Learn about the anatomy of a heel in: How To Chose The Perfect Heels.

Find the heel height for you. My motto generally is: “the higher the better,” but that’s not for everyone. Also, not everyone can wear a stiletto and if you don’t wear heels very often and aren’t comfortable in them then reach for a chunkier heel that will provide more stability and balance.

You’ve found your perfect shoe so now what? Okay, so you’ve found a shoe that doesn’t particularly pinch and that you can stand in without any real discomfort. They look great and you are already picking out the perfect outfit in your head. The caveat in this plan is that you know you’ll only manage about 15 minutes in these shoes before you are ready to throw them out without a second glance. Walk into any drugstore or pharmacy these days and you’ll find a wealth of high tech products to help you out. Here’s what I use when I know that I will be in my heels for a while:

    • A silicone protector for bunions. Basically it hooks around my big toe and fits comfortably over the inner edge of my foot so I don’t feel the pressure of my shoes.
    • Silicone pads beneath the balls of my feet.
    • Tape my toes. I’ve been using this trick for a while now and I took it straight from ballet and years of wearing pointe shoes. I started taping my 3rd and 4th toes together primarily because I broke one several times but it also works to alleviate foot pain when you are wearing heels by slightly changing the alignment of your foot.
    • Stretch my shoes. I have a narrow heel but a wider forefoot and sometimes I do need to stretch out my shoes. If I don’t have a shoe tree on hand, I use simply place a water filled baggy in my shoes and freeze it overnight.
    • Stretch my muscles. When you are wearing heels your body is pitched forward and this can put some strain on your hamstrings, knees and back. If I know that I’m going out for a few hours, I’ll take some time to warm up my muscles beforehand.

the truth about heels

Most importantly, never buy a shoe that is not comfortable in the store. Don’t think that you will break them in or fix them. A shoe that doesn’t fit will get worse over time. While I love a great shoe, I don’t love being in pain and I don’t accept it and there’s no reason that you should either.

Other than not wearing them, how do you deal with high heel pain?

For more don’t forget to follow me on INSTAGRAM and BLOGLOVIN


images courtesy of DollarPhotoClub



Caroline has worked with international designers in fashion retail and completed professional makeup courses when working in the beauty industry. Her love of writing, photography and film inspired her to work at the Canadian Film Center and then to earn a BFA in Screenwriting. In addition to her blog, Style On The Side, you can see her work in Huffington Post Canada and other international websites.

Latest posts by caroline (see all)


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  1. Sometimes I wish I didn’t love heels so much but I like to be tall!lol
    Great tips, I will have to try taping my toes together and see if helps me too. I always try to make sure I stretch before wearing my heels and after wearing them. Especially if I’m standing a lot that day…doing sun salutations help my hips and legs too after a long day in heels.

    xo, Jackie

    1. I just really like how my legs and body looks when I wear heels! Let me know if the toe taping works. Great tip to specifically do sun salutations. Thanks!

  2. Are you surprised that I LOVE this post! It is always so great to read positive posts on wearing heels- they get such a terrible rap which is unfortunate. They key, like you’ve said before, is to know what works for you!
    I have a fairly easy foot to fit but I stay away from slingback heels if I can help it. Luckily they aren’t my favourite style aesthetically anyway so it isn’t a huge deal, but there has been the odd time where I have been wishing they’d stay on my feet better.

    1. I always think of you whenever I write about heels. I got a lot of comments on one of my last posts with people saying that they absolutely can’t wear heels and I just don’t buy that…..

  3. Linda Manns Linneman

    I love heels and have not worn them in a long time. I really appreciate these tips. It will help me with the next pair I buy

    1. Oh I’m so glad, I hope they help! Truthfully I don’t wear heels very often right now either but I will always love them.

  4. great article personally I bring another pair try manolo’s high but comfortable

    1. That’s an awesome tip. Thank you! My Louboutin’s have got to be my most comfortable heels.

  5. I love wearing heels and I like seeing other women wearing them but I have a pet peeve… Most women do not know how to walk properly in heels and they look look like little girls in mommy shoes. Ladies, if you wear heels..commit to them so you can look like you know how to function. Otherwise you just look silly and should stick to flats.

    1. I agree with you 100% or even more if that’s possible. I’ve written about it before but I think you’ve just inspired me to do another post! Thanks!

  6. Great tips. I am guilty of buying shoes thinking I could break them in, guess who got broke in. Yes it was my poor feet. I love heels, always a classy choice.

    1. I think we’ve all been there, I’ve certainly been a slave to buying shoes just because they looked amazing but now I feel like I have the perfect excuse to be really picky!

  7. I really love this post!! I have similar problems with my feet and always have such a hard time finding heels that are actually comfortable! That is a great idea to put water in a bag and freeze it in your shoes overnight to stretch them out

    1. I accidentally hit enter before I wanted to send the comment lol But I am also going to try the silicone pads and tapping my toes! Great suggestions <3

      1. Ha! That happens to me all the time. The silicone pads over my bunion has been a total life saver for me and have made some of my heels very wearable.

    2. Oh I really hope it helps! Uncomfortable shoes are the worst and definitely not an option.

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