Six hacks guaranteed to make wearing high heels more comfortable

Shop for shoes in the afternoon and always prep your toenails: Podiatrist’s seven hacks for wearing heels all day WITHOUT experiencing pain

  • Podiatrist Kate McArthur reveals how to make wearing high heels pain free
  • She says that one of the simplest things you can do is to practice wearing heels 
  • She also advises the best time of day to buy shoes to ensure a proper fit

With the festive season edging closer, many women are racing the to the shops to get their hands on a new pair of party shoes.  

And while a pair of strappy stilettos make for a chic and stylish outfit addition – if you’re not used to wearing them this can mean a world of pain

Sydney-based podiatrist Kate McArthur says high heels transfer 75 per cent of your body weight onto the balls of your feet.

‘They cause excess force and strain on bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments and skin, not to mention ankles, knees, hips and lower back.’ 

So how can women prevent pain while wearing heels? 

While there’s no doubt high heels look chic and stylish, if you’re not used to wearing them you may find yourself in a world of pain

Podiatrist Kate McArthur (pictured) says there are a few things you can do to prevent pain from wearing high heels

1. Practice wearing heels before the event

While it can be tempting to wait until the day of your event to break your heels out of their box, the podiatrist believes you’re better practising wearing your new shoes first.

She explains if you’re not used to wearing high heels, take a little time each day to practice as gradual training can help reduce the shock.

‘If you are in flat shoes all the time and then suddenly wear heels for eight to ten hours your feet will protest. Gradually training your feet can help reduce the shock,’ she said.

2. Shop for shoes in the afternoon

While shopping for shoes might be a matter of dashing out when you’ve got the chance, the expert advises an afternoon excursion is best when shopping for heels.

‘Your feet naturally expand over the course of the day and may swell in hot weather,’ she explains.

‘Waiting a few hours will assist in choosing the right size.’

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The Sydney-based podiatrist recommends adding gel cushioning to your shoes before you head out for a night of fun

3. Protect your feet with gel cushioning

Before heading out for a night of fun, one of the simplest things you can do to save your feet is to add gel cushioning to your shoes.

While cushioning added to the heels can help with unwanted blisters, Kate recommends adding gel cushioning to the front of a new pair of shoes.

‘This can help a great deal in relieving pain, and is especially helpful if you have picked up a an ill-fitting pair of shoes on sale,’ she said.

Shorter nails are recommended when wearing high heels as longer nails can cause bruising or pressure on the sides

4. Properly prep toenails

While a fresh pedicure always looks great, particularly if you’re wearing open toed shoes, the podiatrist explains there’s also another reason for shorter toenails.

‘Longer nails can cause bruising or pressure on the sides, you don’t want to cause an ingrown toenail,’ she said.

For those with feet that require extra care, Kate suggests a more intensive ‘medi-cure’ – this is a treatment offered by podiatrists that deals with a range of problems including weakened or infected toenails or heels which are cracked and dry.

Rather than wait for your feet to start hurting when you’re out, Kate recommends taking the precautionary measure of adding BandAids ahead of time (stock image)

Side effects of wearing high heels: 

Pointed shoes can cause:

* Burning on the forefoot

* Corns on toes

* Bisters on toes

* Shape of the toe can cut into the big toe joint causing pain and swelling

Sling backs or backless shoes:

*These can  your toes to claw, another side effect of toes clawing are nodules or corns on toes.

Wearing heels:

* These can cause tight calf muscles and Achilles pain

Source: Kate McArthur 

5. Add BandAids ahead of time

Rather than wait for your feet to start hurting when you’re out, Kate recommends taking the precautionary measure of adding BandAids ahead of time.

She said to find any sore spots on little toes, heels and big toe joints ahead of time by wearing shoes the night before and noting any places where they rub.

In addition to BandAids, Kate recommends Compeed Blister Plasters – a gel plaster strip that protects and cushions against rubbing and assists with healing.

6. Treat sweaty feet

If you suffer from sweaty feet, a problem which can make wearing high heels uncomfortable, the expert offers a simple way to treat this.

She advises patients affected by this to use Driclor (an anti-antiperspirant designed to treat heavy sweating) on the bottom of their feet at least a week prior to an event.

Kate notes the product is heavy in aluminium chloride which enables it to block sweat glands and says it should only be used temporarily.

If you have any skin irritation, stop using this product immediately.

The active ingredient in turmeric has been found beneficial in treating conditions that involve inflammation

7. Turmeric can help with chronic foot pain

Turmeric is a spice that adds a yellow glow to many foods and most recently has become an increasingly popular addition to cafe-based infusions.

Curcumin is a key chemical in turmeric and some studies have shown the curry ingredient has natural anti-inflammatory, pain relieving and antioxidant abilities.

While turmeric can be applied to the skin to relieve pain, Kate recommends the spice as a pill – the day after a big event – these are more effective.

However, she advises being careful of side effects. These include a stomach upset, nausea, dizziness and to avoid if you are pregnant as the spice can stimulate contractions. 

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