3 High Heel Hacks from a Heel-lovin' Podiatrist

So, you wore those show-stopping stilettos to the party last night. Bad decision? Health-wise, maybe. Your feet now look like elephant’s paws, and you probably feel like you've exposed a raw nerve. But they definitely had something to do with all those cute men asking you to dance, and you’re not giving them up, right? What’s a little pain when your phone is inundated with texts from last night’s dance partners!?

Well gorgeous, throw that no pain, no gain attitude out the window. With these tips and tricks, you can look très chic in your heels, and still be able to walk without grimacing the next day. 

Let us show you how:

Size matters

Not to get too medical here, but ill-fitting shoes not only have you limping in pain for weeks after wearing them, they can cause a number of those nasty foot deformities your grandma complains of, including hammertoes and bunions… Yikes! 

So that you can safely stalk when the clearance sales call your name, follow these golden rules to a ensure a Cinderella-eque fit:

1. Make sure that they fit right from the start. If they don't feel right, they probably ain't right. 

2. The shoe should form a snug, but not a tight fit in the forefoot and heel areas. Resist squeezing your foot into a style or size hoping it will stretch or that already shows signs of pinching.

3. Equally, avoid a style or size too large that is sloppy on your foot where you need to grip your toes to just hold on. Simple hack to know? Sit down in a chair and swing your leg without gripping your toes - if it stays on your foot it's a winner!   

By the way, how long has it been since you’ve had your feet measured? Get this: according to a U.K. study reported in Wall Street Journal, about half of women surveyed wore the wrong shoe size! And FYI: foot expansion is an all-too-common long-term effect of pregnancy and can be up to 1.5 sizes! 

Find your balance

Nobody looks good in heels when they are bound along like a baby giraffe—knees bent trying to accommodate for the excessive heel height. By finding your tipping point, you can avoid not only the unflattering animal comparisons but also the ailments associated with an ambitious heel height. 

So rule #2, find your optimal heel height in two simple steps: 

  1. First, grab a partner and a measuring tape. You stand on the ground barefoot, with a partner behind you. 

  2. Rise up onto the ball of your foot and find the height at which your feet roll outwards. Have your partner measure the height from the ground to your heel at the point just before the outwards roll (your heel height threshold).

Buying shoes with a heel height just short of your threshold will give you guaranteed Carrie Bradshaw grace and sophistication. 



Have you ever walked behind a woman in heels with a stiletto angle that resembled the Leaning Tower of Pisa? Every. single. step. You are grimacing with anticipation of her heel to slip out from beneath her. Don't judge, because chances are your heels are going in the same direction!

In the love story that every woman has with her shoes, the biggest villain is the sorry state of the heel itself. The wear and tear on that part of the shoe will not only make you wobble in the most un-sexy way, but it can lead to chronic pain or a twisted ankle. Ouch!

Because the majority of women wear heels that are just a little too high to handle for more than 30 mins, it's been identified in revolutionary new research that our feet naturally "roll out" when our legs start to fatigue, putting excess force on the outside of the shoe. The problem is, once the heel starts to wear on this angle, there is no going back and some swift Cobbler remedial action is then necessary. 

Not sure when to book in? Stand the pair you suspect may need some heel surgery on a flat surface. Do they sit straight and solid?  Any deviation of the heel from vertical (or toppling over) is a sure sign that it’s time to put a new cork in that stem! 

Better yet, avoid the Pisa effect (also known as "the stiletto effect") from the get-go. It can save you, literally. Not only can even pressure distribution on your heel save you time and money in replacing otherwise perfectly poised pumps, but new revolutionary research has identified the stiletto effect is the underlying reason behind both acute and chronic high heel pain.  

So what can you do to keep your heel tracking vertically? Emily Braidwood has designed one of a kind, patented footbeds that uniquely support the outside of the foot to prevent "the stiletto effect" lean outwards, without taking up important space in your shoe. #Genius!


For the love of heels.

If you want high heels to be part of your wardrobe repertoire, but don't want to risk months of sporting sensible flats for the privilege - employing these simple tips can ensure comfort and longevity across your shoe-drobe. 

Podiatrists generally deter from the cult of the high heel and, yes, they have some very solid arguments to consider, particularly if you are one to experience chronic pain in heels. But while we cannot manifest the mechanical pitch of the high heel, we can certainly make sure that your heels are appropriately sized up and salvaged with the right support and luxurious cushioning.  

Save yourself an early retirement from the party of the year, a barefoot walk home or an appointment with the Doctor: invest in the future of your feet. 

Because why choose between comfort and style when you can have both? 

See www.emilybraidwood.com for more information.

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