Happy Feet: Tips to Make Shoes More Comfortable

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Beauty should not be synonymous with pain.  Yet this is often the case when we force our feet into less-than-ideal shoe shapes. It seems we can’t resist a chic and beautifully formed high-arched heel, sky-high leather boot or pointy toe flat. While some of us may have been born with a natural Barbie foot, most women have come toe-to-toe with the struggle: How do we make these fabulous shoes more comfortable? Read on my fellow Tomatoes.

Happy Feet: Tips to Make Shoes More ComfortableIf high heels are your favorite, yet make your feet less-than-happy, there are some good shoe add-ins to try. Thankfully brands like Dr. Scholl’s had high heels in mind with their lovely insole creations. They make gel inserts for typical problem areas like the ball of your foot or heel that can relieve the pressure.

Happy Feet: Tips to Make Shoes More Comfortable

Another common, yet solvable, problem can occur when you slide into our favorite pair of boots.  Your foot most likely didn’t shrink or grow but if you don’t wear the same thickness of socks as when you bought your boots, you may be facing squashed toes (ouch!) or experiencing unexpected friction that comes from having too much room. The solution? Bring your “boot socks” shopping with you.  Separate but related, if tight boot shafts are an issue, try swabbing the inside with rubbing alcohol, put on your socks and walk around for a half hours or so.  To coin a phrase, you’ll feel the stretch!

Happy Feet: Tips to Make Shoes More ComfortableWhile flats may seem like non-offenders, what you may not know is that before broken in, they can potentially rub up against your heel, produce pain while walking and/or cause a blister (gasp)!  These new shoe nuisances will of course fade with time as they become broken in, but you can save yourself the headache by breaking them in advance.  But what happens when you buy shoes this afternoon to wear this evening?

Happy Feet: Tips to Make Shoes More ComfortableMoleskin is nothing short of magic!  It’s this fashion insider’s favorite fix for preventing blisters.  Just as the name suggests, this soft adhesive cotton “skin” can be cut to size and applied to sensitive spots. (It can also be used to line any part of your shoe.)  What’s more a dash of baby powder, Vaseline or clear deodorant applied to blister-prone spots may also give you the layer of protection you need.  That said, you can’t go wrong with carrying a couple of Band Aids in your bag to cover any unexpected boo boos.

Happy Feet: Tips to Make Shoes More ComfortableOne of the most important tips I can offer to make shoes more comfortable is to buy shoes that properly fit in the first place.  To ensure the highest chance of success, make sure to shoe shop at the end of the day when your feet are most swollen.  Have your foot measured as the size of your feet can change over time.  Speaking of sizes…don’t assume that you are the same size vendor to vendor. Just like with clothing, sizes can vary from brand to brand. And because one foot is usually bigger than the other, make sure to choose to try on not just one but both shoes.

Happy Feet: Tips to Make Shoes More Comfortable

Finally…try not to be “solely” seduced by style.  Regardless of what’s trending, heels with a square, round or open toe are going to be much more comfy than one with a narrow, pointy toe.  And while no one can ignore the allure of a thin heel, consider some of this season’s chunkier options. A chunky heel will allow for a more even weight distribution, taking some of the pressure off of the front of your foot.

So go ahead. Enjoy your favorite shoes without tampering with your toes. Just like lovely Louboutin pumps or the perfect pair of Prada flats, fashion and comfort are two words that can make a great pair!

Carol Davidson is style strategist, life coach and fellow Tomato. She helps people better manage their lives, create fulfillment and develop a plan to love their look and their life. Her expertise has helped hundreds tackle their careers and personal lives with confidence and enthusiasm. To learn more about her wardrobe and life coaching services and how you can work with her virtually or in person, please reach out to her at Carol@CarolDavidson.com. For more shopping picks and lifestyle tips, please visit Carol on FB: Carol Davidson Life Style Strategy and follow her on Twitter @CarolDavidson.



  • Carol Davidson

    For over 15 years, Carol Davidson has helped women transform their appearance, wardrobe and self-esteem. Her style and life coaching advice has helped women tackle their careers and personal lives with confidence and enthusiasm. Clients have told Carol they look better and feel better about how they look and the life they lead. They move forward with greater ease and confidently show up for matters most. Carol is an educator at the Fashion Institute of Technology and has been quoted in countless media outlets including: businessweek.com, Forbes.com, ivillage.com, SmartMoney and Real Simple. While she calls NYC and South Florida “home,” her reach includes the Tri-State area and beyond. Her Skype consultations and easy-to-use, private, online closet, shopping and lookbook platform allow her to work with clients across the country and around the world. For more of Carol’s style picks and lifestyle tips, please visit her at: CarolDavidson.com and like her on FB: CarolDavidsonLifeStyleStrategy. You can also find her on twitter @CarolDavidson.

2 Responses

  1. Jo McFadden says:

    What about shoes/boots that have open toes. I have a couple and I find that they rub on my big toes. I’ve tried putting tape on the inside where the seam meets but still find that it rubs a little. Any tips?

  2. Hi Jo, Thanks for your question. Could the rubbing potentially be because they are too small at the opening? I have advised clients with a similar situation to take their bothersome shoes/boots the the shoe doctor to have them stretched.. Alternatively have you tried the rubbing alcohol trick above – just in the “peep” area of the toe? Finally, I have read online about how putting a bag of water in the “peep” area and putting the water bag/shoes in the freezer. Apparently the water expands and stretches the peep are in the process. (Note: I have not tried this!) Hope these suggestions are helpful~

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