3 High Heel Tips You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

That feeling when the shoe fits in the store, and leaves you crippled after leaving the house? I’ve been there. Many times.

And in my obsessive thorough quest to know what makes the perfect heel, I’ve discovered a few tips that can help you rule out poorly designed shoes.

Now, I’m assuming you already follow the classic guidelines, like getting sized every year, going shopping toward the end of the day, and ensuring that the toe box has ample room.

If you’re already doing that, and are still having trouble finding shoes that work, consider these 3 tips.

1) Is the shoe balanced?

For heels to be comfortable, they need to be balanced, particularly stilettos. Tap the back of the shoe on the side. Does it wobble? If so, pass. The shoe isn’t balanced properly, which means your knees and hips will suffer as a result.

2) Is there a deep heel cup?

My feet have a tendency to slide in heels, unless I wear a size too small. I used to think that this was because my feet were flat, and simply couldn’t bend, until I tried on heels by John Fluevog and Gianvito Rossi. If a shoe has an adequately deep heel cup, your feet shouldn’t slide, and there should still be enough room in the toe box for you to move your toes. The heel cup helps maintain the arch of the foot, and absorb shock as you walk. This helps reduce that chance of getting a stress fracture or metatarsalgia.

3) Have you tested the shoes properly?

When you go for a quick test walk in a new pair of shoes, you probably walk around the store or your room a couple of times to get a feel for the shoe. While this is a good strategy, it’s important to test the shoes while carrying what you’d ordinarily carry during the day. A few extra pounds can make a huge difference, since the force applied to your knees is 1.5x your body weight, 2-3x when going up and down stairs, and 4-5x when bending down. Carrying a heavy purse while wearing heels can end up causing you a lot of pain, particularly if the shoes aren’t perfect from the outset. This doesn’t even factor in the uneven balance that comes with wearing a bag on a single shoulder.

These tips have helped me rule out shoes without even trying them on, saving me time and money.

What tips have worked for you?

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