Shoes, shoes glorious shoes…but what a blow when your fantastic pair of sky high sparkly embellished heels are killing your feet!
“What can I do?” I hear you wail.
Have no fear! I’ve got great advice to help soothe your poor sore and tired feet. Yes you can have your shoes and wear them too!
First things first, I want to talk about fit. When shopping for a new pair of shoes make sure that you wear the appropriate socks or hosiery that you would normally wear with the shoes you are going to buy. Socks in high heals can affect how the shoe fits. You must leave room in the shoe for your foot to fit comfortably. Shoe and foot experts say to leave ½ inch at the front of the shoe from your longest toe (not always your big toe) which equates to the tip of your index finger if you have small hands or tip of your pinky for larger hands and 1/8 inch at the back of the shoe, to help avoid skin irritations and blisters.
Another thing to look out for is room in the toe box. Make sure your toes have room enough to wriggle and move and they are not jammed up against the sides. This can lead to corns and calluses and just darn sore feet.
If per chance you happen to have one foot that is slightly bigger than the other, buy to fit the larger foot. You can pad out the other shoe with inserts and heal strips. However if one foot is quite a bit larger get two different sized shoes.
Always take time to walk around the store in both shoes to feel how they are fitting your feet. Are there any tight parts? Lumpy parts that might rub? Does one shoe feel tighter than the other? Shoes should feel comfortable in the store. If they don’t try going up ½ to 1 size, as sizing can range over different makes of shoe. Sometimes the toe area can feel squishy but the length is ok. Going up in size actually means a slightly wider toe box; you can pad out the heel if it is a bit loose.
If though you happen to be the proud owner of a pair of tight fitting shoes, don’t give them up just yet. There are methods of stretching the shoe to make it softer and more comfortable on your foot. These methods can be done in store where you are buying the shoes (often free of charge if done at the time of purchasing) or at a shoe cobbler.You can do it yourself however. Available from shoe stores you can buy a solution to put on shoes which will help them to stretch slightly while you are wearing them. Generally this solution is for leather shoes or other natural fibres stated on the bottle that it is safe to work with. Another option which works on leather and synthetic shoes is to use ‘Isopropyl’ or in easy speak terms ‘rubbing alcohol’. This can be found easily from supermarkets or pharmacies. Basically all you do is rub the solution onto the area of the shoe that needs to stretch, put on really thick socks, squish in your foot and wear them around the house for about half an hour and they will be nicely loosened. I’ve tried this myself and it does work.
Now onto other foot issues. Sore heels or balls of feet anyone? There are many options available to help you out. Everything from full shoe insoles, to half soles or heel pads. They also come in an option of material choices. You have the invisible gel sort but if you have feet like mine that tend to get sweaty and slippery (yuck) you may want to opt for fabric, foam or leather versions. These insoles can either be wiped clean or washed gently in the washing machine and can be easily replaced when needed. They make a huge difference when it comes to comfort on the soles of your feet.
What about shoes that rub your feet in places? You can also purchase all sorts of padding that can either go on your shoe or on your foot. They come in slim sizes for more tighter fitting shoes or thicker sizes if you need extra protection. You cut the padding to size (or choose pre-cut packets in a bunch of dot sizes) to cover the area that is rubbing. Again these products make a huge difference to irritated feet.
A couple of last tips. If shoes are rubbing a little bit (especially if they are new and haven’t been worn in) rub a little Vaseline onto the area of the shoe where it is irritating your foot, this will help to ease some of the friction. Also, always carry special gel blister plasters in your bag, for on the go foot comfort issues.
images used in this post are for educational purposes only