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How to wear high heels without killing your feet

By Adrija Sen
Last updated on: June 16, 2015 13:05 IST
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Everyone knows that heels hurt, but it’s a price to pay for walking taller, and feeling glamorous.

As necessary as heels might be to the wardrobe, the pain that they come with need not be.

Follow the guide below for a free and comfortably heeled experience!

When buying heels, fit is everything.

Make sure it is snug, but has room for the toes.

Go for rounded toes for more comfort, or shoes where the point comes after the toe, if pointed heels are your pick.

The structure of the shoe matters more than the height.

Choose a shoe where the heel comes right under your heel bone.

An incline that is less steep will also hurt less.

Go up or down half sizes if required and if the shoe still does not feel right; walk away.

How to wear them

Buy accessories to supplement heels.

Full insoles, toe inserts, anti-slip heel inserts are good options to make the heels easier to wear.

Maintain your investments, replace soles and heel caps as soon as they start chipping.

Ensure that while walking the motion comes from the hip, and not the knees.

Stretch after wearing heels, and switch postures while in them.

Be smart about when and where to wear heels; if it’s an all day fair, it might be better to skip the stilettos.

After long hours in heels, ice your feet for about 15 minutes and use foot cream before heading to bed.

The right pair

There are certain kinds of shoes that are easier to wear.

Try gladiator heels, or ones with adjustable straps to keep your feet in place.

Wedges, high front platforms and stacked heels give better grip while walking.

Cork and perforated soles are more comfortable than plastic.

Wearing heels properly can take quite a bit of effort, but done right you can walk taller, and do it without any of the pain.

If all of these still seem too much then take inspiration from celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence, Elizabeth Olsen, Emma Thompson and Tina Fey, and walk out proud and hassle free in flats.

Dos and Don'ts


  • Invest in shoes. There is no point in buying four trendy pairs that cannot be worn.
  • Invest instead in one or two pairs that will last long, look good and feel comfortable.
  • Wait for the sale season if you want a selection of heels to add to your closet.
  • Ask for help from the sales associates. They have the knowledge and it’s their job to find you the best shoes.


  • Buy heels online. The only way to make sure the shoe really fits is to try it on.
  • Be hasty. Walk around in the shoes for at least ten minutes. Make sure they feel good on your feet and you can actually 'walk' in them instead of just uncomfortably shuffling around.

Images used for representational purposes only

Lead photograph: Miquel Benitez/Getty Images

Photograph: Leather fashion fashionista/Creative Commons


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Adrija Sen