Tips On How to Choose Comfortable High Heels

how to choose comfortable heels High heels elevate the style and attractiveness of any outfit they are paired with. They look good in jeans, a long skirt or office wear. They look equally good with traditional Indian wear like Sarees and other ensembles. But there are some misconceptions like an uncomfortable walking experience and aches in the legs attached to wearing high heels. But if you will always have a comfortable experience along with rocking your glamourous high heel look if you acquire the right pair of heels suited to you. Allow us in the article below to walk you through some important tips on selecting the right and comfortable pair of high heels.

1. Try High Heels after Mid-Day or Evening Time

If you try high heels in the early morning, you may purchase a pair that feels the right fit at the time only to constrict and hurt your feet come evening. Feet expand and are a little bit bigger and swollen at the end of the day due to all the punishment they take throughout the day. The right time to try and purchase a pair of high heels is in the evening when your feet will be at their largest.

2. Pick the Heels of the Right Fit and Size

Never purchase a pair of heels without trying them first. Different brands’ sizes and fit may differ slightly. That slight difference can transform a comfortable walking experience into nightmarish. Also, variations in weight, whether gained or lost make a notable difference too. The heels that fit too tight will constrict your feet and cause pain, and a heel that fits loosely will cause your feet to slide up, down, and sideways. It raises the possibility of losing balance and falling along with blisters on the feet and bleeding. Therefore, only pick those comfortable high heels that fit you perfectly, neither too tight, nor too loose on your feet, just firm.

3. Toes Matter Too

The high heels you purchase should provide optimum space for your toes. Heels that cramp your toes will cause pain when walking and increase the possibility of getting bunions, and corns and developing hammertoes and even arthritis later in life. If your feet tend to be on the wider side, pick round toes and almond toes heels over pointy ones. If you still prefer pointy toes then opt for heels offering a deeper toe box and the pointy toe heels having a slightly rounded almond shape. These comfortable and stylish heels will provide better overall space for your toes and avoid the above-mentioned risks and issues.

4. Try Heels by Walking on Them

Testing and trying the heels does not end at fitting only. You need to wear and walk around them in the shoe store. Go forward and backwards and even sideways. Try walking on different surfaces too, like carpets and then a bare surface inside the store. The bare and harder surface will let you experience how walking on them, in general, will feel like. Check for any uncomfortable feelings. For eg, if the heels rub uncomfortably against the sole and back of the feet, then the chances of getting a blister increase while wearing the heels day to day. So, try the heels thoroughly and then make a well-thought-out decision to purchase comfy high heels. Also Read: 16 Different Types Of Heels That Every Woman Should Own

5. Practice walking at home

Heels increase your height and make your legs appear longer, but wearing heels takes a bit of practice beforehand. If you are trying heels for the first time, better walk in them in the safety of your home first. If you still feel uncomfortable you can always exchange or return but take care to not get them scuffed, scratched, or dirtied. Also, keep these things in your mind before taking the first step in your heels. — Heels are long so they will shorten your stride and steps, don’t try to walk in them like you would in flats. — When walking, ensure that your heels remain upright; do not allow them to roll to the side. This causes the heel to slide and you to fall. If you follow these pointers diligently, you are ready to rock your comfortable party heels.

6. Check the Sole thickness and Cushioning Provided

Wearing heels puts more pressure on your feet, especially the balls of the feet. Before purchasing that coveted pair, check that they have proper padding and cushioning in the area that supports the balls of the feet. High heels with excellent cushioning and padding provide great support and comfort to your feet. Now wear your comfortable work heels fearlessly during working hours and even after that.

7. Go for Genuine Leather or Suede High Heels

Genuine things are always appreciated and treasured. The same is the case with your comfortable and stylish heels. Acquire a pair of genuine leather or suede high heels instead of the ones made of synthetic leather. Genuine leather and suede heels offer many benefits. They are breathable, keep your feet cold and dry, take shape as per your feet, are durable, and look classy and elegant compared to synthetic ones. You may pay a bit more while purchasing pure leather heels but your feet and aesthetic sense will thank you in the long run. You can easily check if the heels are made of pure leather or not. Check the label or inside of the heels. If nothing or man-made leather or material is printed on them, then these are synthetic shoes. If made from pure leather or suede, or leather upper or suede is mentioned, then rest assured, these are genuine leather heels.

8. Check the Heel Placement and Thickness

When purchasing heels, even before trying check the heel placement first. It should not be placed far or too close. The heel should be positioned just beneath your own. This heel position provides better support to the body. Also, check for the thickness and choose those heels that distribute the weight evenly over the foot. Wider and thicker heels are better at protecting your feet than narrow and thin ones. Do keep these things in mind before acquiring a new pair of comfy high heels.

9. Heel height

If you are planning to purchase a pair of heels, then do keep in mind the heel height. The most comfortable high heels tend to be between 3 to 9 centimetres in length. Wearing very high heels for a prolonged period may thus increase the risks associated with these body parts. Do choose what is right for you and appeals to you most.

High Heels-What, When, Where to Wear

After the tips on purchasing the right pair of heels, let us look briefly at when and where to wear heels.

  • For day-to-day wear, get a pair of Kitten heels that are up to 4 centimetres in height.
  • Classic and comfortable work heels should be between 7 to 8 centimetres high.
  • Comfortable party heels should be up to 10 centimetres in length. Wear them for parties and formal dinners.
  • Wear very high heels between 12 to 16 centimetres only on those events when you do not have to do much walking. These may look pretty and striking but will be difficult to walk in.


So, these were some tips on purchasing the right pair of comfortable high heels. Heels should enhance your style and attractiveness and also make you feel comfortable and confident. Select the right heels and pamper yourself and your feet. Do browse through our selection of high heels and shop the one just made for you. Updated on October 13, 2022 High-heeled shoes come in and out of style, and people often ask, «Can wearing heels really be bad for my body?» You can potentially wear heels every day without problems, but some people develop foot, back, or knee pain, even from just a few hours in heels. And sometimes long-term issues can develop from wearing high-heeled shoes. Studies have shown that high-heeled shoes create excess pressure on the plantar surface, or sole of the foot, which can lead to metatarsalgia (ball of the foot pain), excess stress on foot joints, and painful calluses. The higher the heel is, the more probability that muscular imbalances are occurring while walking in the shoes—causing certain leg and foot muscles to work too hard. These imbalances, as well as squeezing of the foot, can lead to problems such as knee pain, heel pain (plantar fasciitis), and hammer toes. Sometimes an occasion calls for a great-looking pair of heels, and there are some strategies you can use to choose better shoes for your comfort and health. The following celebrity photos identify common mistakes people make in choosing heels, and the tips can help you avoid these mistakes.

Mistake 1: The Shoe Doesn’t Fit

Woman wearing black heels on the red carpet Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images Notice the gap between the shoe and the wearer’s heel and arch areas—it likely indicates a shoe that is too long and too wide. This can cause the foot to shift around in the shoe while walking and will surely lead to pain and discomfort. In this case, she probably chose a style that was too wide for her foot. You may be surprised to learn that your shoe size can change over the years. A change in foot size can often be attributed to hormonal changes and natural changes in soft tissue that occur with aging. Better Choice: The next time you shop for shoes, be sure to measure your feet for both length and width. Be aware that the right size shoe may not always be a good fit, so it helps to try on a few different styles until you find the most comfortable fit. It can also be helpful to shop at the end of the day when your foot is more swollen so you won’t be tempted to overcompensate by sizing up excessively.

Mistake 2: Extreme Height

Woman wearing black high heeled sandals with a butterfly tattoo on her ankle Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images One of the most common problems with high heels is pain under the ball of the foot. A higher heel means more stress on the ball of the foot, ankle, and knee, which increases as the height goes up. Better Choice: Even though these heels have an extreme heel height and appear to be too small in size (notice the dangling toes), they do have three preferable features:

  • The thickness underneath the ball of the foot offsets some of the heel height, and depending on the shoe’s material, may offer better cushioning than a thinner-soled shoe.
  • The chunkiness of the shoe’s heel is preferable to a stiletto heel because it is more stable.
  • The heel is positioned more toward the back of the shoe, which is more stable than a heel positioned more toward the center of the shoe.

Mistake 3: Not Enough Coverage

Woman wearing silver high heeled sandals Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images The only things holding this shoe onto her foot are a tiny ankle strap and a small amount of material across the toes. As she’s bearing weight on the right foot, the shoe is gapping across the middle of her foot and heel, showing that there is inadequate support. This will allow too much motion on an already unsteady, elevated heel. You can bet that long periods of walking in these shoes will leave you with tired, sore feet and put you at risk for an ankle sprain. Better Choice: Your best bet is to choose styles that fit the shape of your foot well, offering adequate material to hold your foot in the shoe—a good example is a high-heeled boot or a shoe with straps across the toe area, arch, and ankle.

Mistake 4: Toe Torture

Woman wearing pointy toed high heeled shoes Carlos Alvarez / Stringer / Getty Images Seeing the way the toes are squeezed into these pointy-toed shoes is painful to observe. Besides the toes being pushed into a cramped space, there is an issue with the shoe’s toe material not covering enough of the toes. This forces the toes to work harder at maintaining stability, possibly contributing to toe contractures, such as hammer toes. Another toe problem that can be aggravated by high-heeled shoes is a bunion deformity. Better Choice: A better choice is a shoe that has more material across the toes and more of a rounded toe box. By Catherine Moyer, DPM Catherine Moyer, DPM, is a podiatrist experienced in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders of the foot and ankle. Thanks for your feedback! Women wearing high heels look stunning and that’s an indisputable fact. However, wearing high-heeled shoes always goes together with some sort of discomfort. They often rub the skin in a painful way and may cause pain in the feet or legs. There is no need to put up with this since there are several tricks for choosing the perfect footwear that will make your life easier and your feet happier. Bright Side studied some simple footwear rules that can increase a woman’s chances of getting the most comfortable pair of shoes and wearing them without having to suffer.

Comfortable heel height for everyday wear

No matter how much you love high heels, you’ll have to opt for more modest options for everyday use. Frequent wearing of high-heeled shoes harms our health greatly and traumatizes our knee joints and ligaments in the long run. The appearance of spinal problems can also rear its ugly head. They say beauty is pain, but do we really have to bear all this when living a more comfortable life is as easy as choosing a slightly lower high-heeled shoe? You can either alternate high heels with flat shoes or opt for a shorter and more comfortable heel:

  • The simplest thing is to follow experts’ recommendations — they believe that the height of a heel for everyday use shouldn’t exceed 2.5 cm. This height is the least harmful, it reduces the load on the spine, and it doesn’t cause degenerative changes in the bone tissues.
  • Another option for choosing comfortable shoes is to pay attention to the distance between the heel and the sole. The higher the heel is, the shorter the distance will be. A distance of 3.5 cm and longer is considered safe — it helps the feet to stand correctly with maximum steadiness.

Comfortable and safe height for party shoes

You’ll need to use a more complex trick to choose your “going-out” shoes. However, don’t worry — it’s worth it because these methods will help you choose the ideal heel height for you individually. The good news is that in most cases, the heel will be higher than 2-4 cm.

  • The first method takes into account the specific features of the body. You need to measure your height and leg length from hips to feet and use the following formula: (height/leg length — 1.61)*10. As a result, you’ll get the measurements for the ideal height of your heel.
  • The second method will require a ruler or a measuring tape. Sit comfortably on a chair and stretch one leg in front of you. Don’t point your foot, just relax it. Measure the distance from the heel to the ball of your foot as it is shown in the picture. The measurement that you get will be the ideal height of a heel for you because it equals the natural inclination of the foot and you won’t have to exert yourself.

Some more nuances

  • Size. In order to prevent themselves from having leg pain, women often try to avoid shoes smaller than their size. And that’s correct because it’s better to choose a size bigger than yours. It will allow you to place silicon layers inside the shoes that will increase their comfort level.
  • Material. As a rule, footwear made of artificial materials is very rough and it takes too much time for it to take the shape of the natural curve of our foot and toes. As a result, it causes the appearance of corns and calluses. The most comfortable shoes are those made out of natural suede or leather.

Heel tips and the position of the heel. As we have already mentioned, feet should neither be constrained too much in shoes nor should the shoes be too loose. Your feet should simply be fixed in the shoe. In order to understand how comfortable a selected pair of shoes is for you, don’t feel lazy or awkward about walking a little more when trying them on. Also, pay attention to the position of the heel — it shouldn’t be “curved” — turned outward or inward. If it is, these shoes will cause too many issues when wearing them and will break down really fast too. Are you aware of any other tricks that might help you to avoid unsuccessful purchases? Please share them with us in the comments! Please note: This article was updated in April 2022 to correct source material and factual inaccuracies. Bright Side/Girls stuff/Important Rules for Choosing High Heels to Kiss Pain in Your Legs Goodbye Party season is here and it’s time to treat yourself to a new pair of heels. But buying new shoes can be tricky — often they hurt, flare up pre-existing foot problems and have the potential to ruin a night out. So we’ve asked consultant foot and ankle surgeon, Ms Roslyn Miller for her advice on picking the perfect party heels.

Preparing for heels season

One of the most important things you can do is to remember to stretch your calves and the soles of your feet regularly, particularly the morning after you have worn high heels. This is to allow these structures to stretch out to the correct length. The best time to do this is right before you get out of bed in the morning. If you think about it, when you take your first step in the morning, that is when you put your foot to maximum stretch and this can cause micro tears. It’s also better to not walk around the house barefoot, but instead in slippers, with a well cushioned, small, broad heel.

Consider the shape of the shoe

Selection of round-toed designer heels If you suffer from foot problems – choosing the right shape of shoe can make a big difference. A rounder toe with a wider fit will help if you have conditions like big toe arthritis (Hallux Rigidus), ball of foot pain (Metatarsalgia), toe problems (Hammer toes, Claw Toes), nerve pain (Morton’s Neuromas) or swelling of the capsule of the foot (Bursitis). Softer material, with room to move will make your evening more comfortable. Think about where the edge of the material will sit. It’s better to have nothing covering the joint, or for the joint to be completely covered, rather than having a ridge or seam over the joint. If you have bunions and wear a pointed shoe — this can make the pain worse. Make sure there’s room to manoeuvre.

What type of heel is best for your feet?

Selection of high-heeled designer heels The higher and more narrow the heel, the more your body weight is forced forward onto the ball of your foot. This can exacerbate any existing foot issues, particularly ball of foot pain or Morton’s Neuroma (this is where a nerve in your foot is irritated or damaged). It can also be uncomfortable if you struggle with heels anyway or rarely wear them. High and narrow heels also mean more force is put through a small area in the heel of your foot. This can exacerbate plantar fasciitis — inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes. Closely related is tight Achilles, which can be very painful if you develop an Achilles tendinopathy (Painful Achilles). If you always wear high heels, this can cause the Achilles tendon to become tight. If you suffer from either foot or ankle problems, chose a heel which spreads the weight more evenly — such as a wedge, platform or lower-heeled shoe. A broad heel helps you to take the weight back onto the back of your foot and let the tendons and ligaments around the ankle work more effectively.

Stay supported

Selection of designer, heeled boots If you have weak or torn ligaments outside of the ankle, you may be more likely to roll your ankles or have wobbly ankles when you walk. This can cause pain, or repeatedly going over on the ankle. Long term this can cause you to develop wear and tear of the ankle joint and in some cases ankle arthritis. Boots are great for ankle niggles, as long as they come up above the ankle and fit properly. If they’re too loose or low, they won’t support the ankle. If you’re wearing dressy shoes, a reasonably thick ankle strap is your best bet — so that it can essentially mimic the ligament of the ankle.

Add extra padding

Whether you have problems with your feet or are just planning on a long night out — adding some extra cushioning to your shoe is a smart move. If you do suffer from big toe arthritis or toe problems, consider a shoe with a properly cushioned sole. Something thin and made of leather could be painful as there’s little to protect your foot from the hard, bumpy ground. Otherwise, cushioned insoles are a good backup. Some are designed specifically to help with plantar fasciitis and heel pain. You can also buy orthotics that claim to help with shoulder, lower back, hip and knee pain as well as foot pain. There are also lighter versions that can just take the edge off if you’ve not worn heels in a while — some can even help keep foot odour at bay. If you know that the shoes that you have bought have a specific problem area, the back of the heels rub or they make your toes sore, you can buy packs of small stick-in gel pads and cushions. Pop them in your handbag for later.

Measuring for the perfect heel height

If you want to get an idea of the heel height suitable for your feet, this quick exercise can give you a starting point. Instructions for measuring heel height

  1. Remove your shoes, sit on the floor and stretch one leg out, straight in front of you. Make sure your foot is relaxed.
  2. If you find that your foot is at a right angle to your leg and does not dangle, then you may have issues with mobility in the talus (the bone that makes up the lower part of the ankle joint). You may be better off opting for some beautiful flat shoes, rather than high heels.
    If the top of your foot falls forwards so that it’s more in line with your outstretched leg — heels may be easier for you to handle.
  3. To get an idea of the right heel height for you, ask a friend to stretch a tape measure from where the heel would sit on your foot, parallel to the floor. Then, place a pencil at the ball of your foot, at a right angle to the tape.
  4. Measure where the pencil hits the tape to get your ideal heel height.

And if all else fails

roll-up ballet pumps Invest in some nice roll up-ballet pumps. If by the end of the night your feet are more frazzled than footloose, you’ll be glad of the break. Ultimately, finding the right shoe is about finding a style that’s comfortable for you. Take these tips into consideration before parting with your cash and you’ll be partying from dusk till dawn.

More information

  • If you are concerned about your foot and ankle health, you should consult your GP. (Don’t have a GP?)
  • If you would prefer to see a consultant then King Edward VII’s Hospital has a fantastic team of foot and ankle specialists.
  • Image source — all images featured are for illustrative purposes only.

High heels are a staple not only in the workplace but for daily wear as well. Many women love wearing high heels because they accentuate the calves and lend an air of confidence to the way they move and present themselves. However, how powerful can one feel if they are also struggling to walk at the same time? High heels increase pressure on the balls of the feet and force the body out of its natural alignment into an artificial posture. This can be uncomfortable if they are worn for a prolonged period, especially if you’ve chosen the wrong type of heels or your foot and body type, resulting in long-term damage. Here is how you can maximise your high-heel-wearing experience while minimising the drawbacks.

What Makes a Good Pair of Heels


Prioritise heels made with soft leather or mesh that is stretchable and breathable. Your feet generally swell during the day or after a period of walking, and softer materials allow for greater expansion of the forefoot without compressing the soft tissues. This will minimise the likelihood of tingling, numbness, and burning sensations when worn.

Location of seams

Seams that run along places where the joints meet can be constricting and cause pain, especially for individuals with bunions or other foot conditions that restrict movement. Take care to check for heels with seams away from the joints to allow for less pressure and added flexibility.

Wide forefoot shape

Avoid narrow or pointy-toed shoes, as the toe box is too small for the shape of the foot and will pinch the toes together to fit the small space. This can be painful and can cause long-term problems like bunions or hammertoes where the toes overlap. Square or rounded-toe shoes offer more room space so your toes can fan out comfortably to support you during movement.

Wide heel width

Chunky heels offer the most comfort and support, and are less prone to snapping as opposed to skinny stiletto heels. The larger surface area makes them ideal for the equal distribution of body weight, especially for individuals who are prone to ankle sprains or have trouble balancing. Good examples include wedges and platforms.

Room is needed

Your feet tend to swell in the day or a period after shoe wearing. Ensure that there is enough room to accommodate them comfortably, and the heel should not be tight but fit snuggly to your foot. This will also allow space for inserts or orthotics to be added for a more comfortable wearing experience.

Height isn’t everything

The recommended height for a pair of high heels is 2 to 3 inches. Anything over this range can compromise stability as the amount of pressure placed on the ball of the foot increases with height. A lower heel height drastically reduces the risk of ankle sprains and injuries from falling.

Maximising Comfort

Break them in

Walk around the house in your heels with a pair of thick socks on to stretch them out and acclimatise your feet. Check for any problem spots that cause pain or are uncomfortable, and place moleskin on such areas to prevent rubbing. Be sure to adequately bend, flex, and soften the stiff material around the shoe to reduce hardness around the heel. Take note that stretching for tight shoes can help to make a shoe more comfortable, but stretching a shoe that is too small does not help your foot in any way. Shoes should fit comfortably in the store before making a purchase


Some patients try relieving and redistributing pressure from the ball of the foot by taping the third and the fourth toes together redistributes pressure from the ball of the foot. This also relieves pressure on the neuroma, the nerve that splits between those two toes, and leads to noticeably lesser pain when wearing heels.


Sandpaper the bottom of your soles to prevent slipping or attach slip-resistant pads that will prevent the soles from wearing out. A permanent non-slip sole attached to the outside of the shoe will increase the life span of your shoes as well.

Take a break

Avoid wearing the same pair of heels for more than 2 days in a row and try to limit each occasion to just 3 hours at a time. It is also not recommended to wear heels for events that require long periods of standing. If high heels must be worn at work, keep a pair in the office and wear flats during the commute to minimise the amount of walking required. Take frequent breaks to sit down and make sure to stretch your feet, calves, and back thoroughly.


Gel, padded inserts, or heel supports can provide added cushioning and minimise the impact on the arches and balls of the feet. Especially for feet that need extra support under the arches, wearing an orthotic device in the shoe will redistribute pressure across the foot and increase comfort. Functional foot orthotics are medical prescription devices that come with a professional diagnosis and can be customised to fit into a pair of dress shoes. They are designed to offer the optimum amount of support and correction for your specific conditions while being comfortable at the same time. If you’re ready to start your journey of comfort in high heels or if you’ve been experiencing any pain, come down to East Coast Podiatry for a gait assessment and get fitted for your pair of custom orthotics today.

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