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How to Walk in High Heels

Photo via Neiman Marcus.

Women tend to fall on two sides of the shoe spectrum: there’s Carrie Bradshaw with her closet full of Manolos on one end, and then there’s me with my collection of orthopedic clogs. As a lifelong klutz, I need my footwear to be as accident-proof as possible, which is why I favor the same shoes prized by emergency room nurses and the Dutch. The few pairs of heels I own have rarely seen pavement. But the ladies at Birchbox are a mighty tall and stylish bunch, and at 5’1” I wanted to measure up. So last week, I gave myself a shoe challenge: to find a comfortable way to wear high heels from morning to night. No limping, blisters, or tears allowed.   

I started my journey by laying a few ground rules. First, I would test a variety of shoe styles (cue impromptu shopping trip). Second, I would not resort to Band-Aids to patch up friction-induced cuts. Finally, I would venture off the beaten track when it came to picking the right cushioning gear. I’ve tried gel inserts before, and I’m not a big fan of the squishy feeling. Luckily, the folks at Foot Petals came to my rescue. Their pads and inserts are made of lightweight urethane (read: high-tech plastic) and make killer shoes more comfy. Today, I’m glad to report that I’ve finally overcome my high heel phobia! You, too, can walk the extra mile by adding some support to your favorite pair of heels: 

Insane Stilettos

You need to go all out to make these babies more wearable. Slip Foot Petals’ flower-shaped Tip Toes into the front of your shoes. They cushion the balls of your feet and keep them stable. Next, add the cushiony Haute Heelz to absorb shock to your ankles. And if your stilettos are just a wee bit too big, add a pair of the Heavenly Heelz to the backs and stop your feet from doing the slip’n’slide. 

Sassy Boots

My stiletto tips apply here too, but don’t step outside until you stick Sole Stopperz to the bottoms of your heeled boots. Come rain, snow, or sludge, these adhesives add traction and make slippery stairs a lot less scary. 

Not-So-Casual Sandals

We’re enjoying quite the Indian summer here in NYC, so today I’m wearing my only pair of platform sandals to the office. To keep the firm leather straps from digging into my skin, I added Foot Petals’ Strappy Strips to the inside of each strap. The thin strips make a big difference. In fact, I’ve been singing their praises all day.

A few final tips:

  • Wear sheer tights with your heels. We’re not crazy about the nude pantyhose, so think black, gray, or a more vibrant color like aqua. The extra layer of fabric between your tender feet and your relentless shoes will reduce friction. 
  • Keep a spare pair of heels in your bag. Many a magazine editor wears flats or (gasp) sneakers during her morning commute and switches to heels right outside the office. 


Now that you’re walking on clouds, keep your tootsies in tip-top shape by picking up a foot cream from the Birchbox Shop

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