Wearing heels on campus is a scary concept to me. There are cracks left and right in the parking lot I walk through to get to class; It’s a 15-minute walk from my dorm room to the library, and I don’t really want to make that trip in heels; If I were to stumble and fall over on campus, I’d be stumbling and falling over in front of 20,000+ people. So, no, I don’t usually wear high heels on campus. Except, this week I did. I wore heels for most of the week and it turns out that I didn’t experience as much pain as I thought I would! When I’ve worn heels in the past, my feet have basically started bleeding after a few hours.
Avoiding wearing heels on super busy days is probably the biggest way to avoid putting your feet in pain, but sometimes the situation is unavoidable and you’ll just have to deal with it. You may have a meeting in the morning and an interview in the evening, or a class presentation at noon and a banquet at night. Sounds like your feet would be in for a rough journey. On the days I wore heels this week, however, I was able to comfortably walk and stand in them basically all day! As you can see by the above photo of me, I’m literally JUMPING with my favorite pair of booties with a 3.25″ heel! So what sorcery made it possible for me to do this??? Here are my tips for being comfortable in your heels.
1. Avoid heels higher than 3.5 inches.
If you can get heels no higher than 3 inches, that’s even better. One concept about the art of high heels that I didn’t know about until my mom told me is called a platform. Heels without a platform move pressure forward on your toes because your foot is elevated at an angle. The higher the heel, the more of a platform you’ll need in order to be comfortable. Also, if you can wear something with a thick heel, that’s even better. I typically only buy booties with chunky heels because I feel more confident stepping on cracks in the sidewalk if my heel isn’t skinner than the pencils at the bottom of my backpack.
2. Purchase the right size.
No matter how tempting it is to wear your cute, strappy heels from high school, if you can’t really fit into them anymore, you’re better off just buying a new pair. It’s NOT worth the pain to walk around in heels that pinch your feet from every direction. On my most recent trip back home, I uncovered a pair of tan booties I used to wear in high school. I thought they’d go perfectly with a casual dress I recently bought, but when I tried them on again, they were a bit tight and uncomfortable to move in.
3. Invest in feet cushions.
Have you ever worn heels and then take them off to find that the back of your foot above your heel is now red, bleeding, and in pain? Last summer, I bought these gel-like feet cushions that you stick on the insides of your heels to avoid this problem, and let me tell you, I don’t even remember what life was like without them. These are a must-have. Because one side is a strong adhesive to stick to your shoe, you can’t really remove them and put them in different shoes, so investing in a set of them is probably the best thing to do. They’re pretty inexpensive, too and you can get them at pharmacies like Duane Reade.
4. Take shortcuts on campus.
Do everything in your power to avoid taking the long way to class or to your job. If a friend offers to drive you somewhere, take them up on that offer. I also try to avoid walking on any surface that isn’t relatively flat. My campus has some small areas that are designed to look like cobblestones, and I avoid walking there on a regular day when I’m wearing sneakers so you can bet your Kate Spade coupon I’m going to avoid walking over those stones in heels. I’m also not a fan of walking in mud or over grass when I’m wearing heels because you never know when you could walk over a rough patch and end up on your face.
5. Take advantage of any opportunity to sit down.
This is more of a precautionary measure for later in the day. You never know when your next opportunity to sit down will be, especially if you have a busy rest of the day ahead of you! If you’re waiting on a friend for lunch or waiting for your professor to come to office hours, take this as a chance to pull up a chair or have a seat on the floor. It takes some pressure off your feet for a little bit until you’re ready to hop on them again.
6. Tread carefully.
I know some people like to have a heavy step so everyone and their mother knows they’re coming, but if you aren’t careful you could break the heel of your shoe. Be very cautious when walking to avoid embarrassing moments like this, and to avoid hurting your feet more.
What are your tips for surviving the day in heels?
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