‘Tis the season for holiday cheer, a jam-packed calendar, and lots of dressing up. An inevitable part of dressing to the nines? Heels—even if they aren’t usually a part of your footwear rotation.
There’s nothing that can ruin a night more quickly than heels hurting your feet, and if you’re wearing a pair to a holiday party, you’re likely to be wearing them for hours on end. Walking to your destination, standing around mingling, and God forbid taking on a dance floor can leave your feet in a post-war state that you’ll pay for the next day.
Before you get dressed for your next party, use these five tricks to walk in heels without pain—so you can enjoy your holiday season, not hobble through it.
1. Break them in before you wear them
It can be tempting to throw on that sparkly pair of heels straight out of the box, and listen, we get it. But before you do, take a little time breaking them in.
The easiest (and fastest) way to break in a new pair of heels? Put on a thick pair of socks, then put the shoes on and hit them with your blow dryer. The combination of the thicker socks with the heat will mold them to your feet as if you’ve been wearing them for weeks. Crisis averted.
2. Concentrate on your walk
Walking in a pair of heels isn’t the same ball game as walking in a pair of flat shoes; it requires a bit of strategy. When you’re walking in heels, you should walk heel to toe, not toe to heel. Rather than putting your entire foot down at once, make sure you always start your step with the heel first to make your walk look as natural as possible, even if you’re a beginner.
Additionally, try leaning back a bit more than you would naturally while you walk. Resisting the urge to lean forward will balance out your weight a bit, making walking easier in the meantime.
3. Slow down
While it can be tempting to try to walk in your heels at the same speed as you walk in other shoes, odds are doing so won’t end well (only Carrie Bradshaw is capable of that). In addition to walking heel to toe, try slowing down your walk. Even if it feels awkward due to it being a little slower than how you’d naturally move, it’ll look a whole lot less awkward than trying to rush in them if you aren’t a frequent heel-wearer.
4. Take the height into consideration
While five-inch stilettos do exist, they definitely don’t need to be your go-to holiday heels. If you’re a heel newbie (or just don’t love wearing them), opt for a heel height of three inches or lower. We’re living in a time where kitten heels are in—take advantage of it.
5. Be prepared
There are a million products that can make wearing heels more bearable—and we’d be remiss to not take advantage of them. Have narrow feet that slip around in heels? Use heel grips. Have a pair that leaves you with a heel blister no matter what you do? Try liquid band-aids. No matter what your problem is, there’s a product that can help fix it.
Even if you think you won’t need a bandaid throughout the night, keep some in your bag just in case any issues arise.