Every girl has endured the struggle of wearing heels to an event either because it went with our outfit, we wanted to be taller or simply because they were our favourite pair of shoes. I never quite understood the struggle of wearing heels out in St Andrews until I went to my first ball in first year where my heels got stuck into the cobblestones, I kept sinking into the grass and my feet hurt for the better half of the night. Despite this, when going to a ball, it seems like heels are a must. We end up either complaining the entire night or giving up halfway through by chucking our shoes in some corner only to retrieve them before leaving. In an attempt to avoid walking barefoot on the sticky floor of a ball, I’ve compiled some tips to try out to make a night in heels more comfortable.
1. Wear shoes with a large heel
By wearing shoes with a larger heel, it helps distribute your weight more evenly along your foot relieving the pressure that usually causes pain. A larger heel will not only help keep your balance, but also prevent you from sinking into the grass or getting stuck in between the cobblestones of St Andrews.
2. Choose heels with a square point
Shoes with a square or round point gives your toes more room and alleviates the pinchy feeling in your toes that is bound to happen as your foot slides towards the front of your shoes.
3. Use heels with straps
Shoes that have more straps will keeps your foot in place. This will not only avoid your foot from slipping out of your shoe, but it will also help you balance, relieving some of the pressure.
4. Buy shoes a size larger
Buying a pair of heels either half or a whole size bigger gives your foot more room to move around. This avoids blisters and also gives you room to add insoles that can cushion the soles of your heels.
5. Break your heels in
If you just bought a new pair of shoes, break them in the night before you go out. If you haven’t worn them very often, I find it helpful to simply wear them around the house for a few hours to get used to walking in them and to loosen them up a bit.
6. Invest in insoles
If you already have a pair of heels that you like and don’t want to go out of your way to buy a new pair, your new best friends on a night out can be insoles or ‘gelly feet’ that are sold at Boots. They have different sizes and shapes for different parts of the shoe that give extra cushioning. Not only does this help alleviate the pain, but also helps make sure your feet don’t slip forwards. I would also suggest bringing along a few band-aids or compeeds that provide an extra layer of protection to avoid getting blisters or to alleviate the pain if you do get blisters halfway through the night.
7. Keep moving
Another tip to alleviate the pressure on your feet is to keep moving. It’s better to walk, sit, dance around to distribute your weight and the pressure along your foot rather than standing in one place.
8. Bring flats to change into
If all else fails, the best tip I rely on is to simply bring a pair of flats or sneakers with me. This has been my biggest fallback on a night out. Simply asking whoever is working coat check to check your shoes in along with your coat and then halfway through the night asking for them so you can change. At that point in the night, the outfit has been put together, the pictures have been taken and you can enjoy the rest of your night in comfort.