A woman in black leather pants leans against a column, also wearing bright red stilettos.

Image: Shutterstock

I have always loved the look and the idea of high heels more than the actual wearing of them, which has always been a pinching, bloody, miserable mess. And yet, I persist in looking at them online or in stores. I try to find options that are a little more foot-friendly without sacrificing the way I feel in heels, but I’ve never found a pair of pumps that were truly comfortable. However, if you too are unwilling to give them up completely, I have a few suggestions for you that will make high heels a little more comfortable—especially as New Year’s Eve approaches!

Pad, pad, pad!

Using gel inserts can give your foot a comfy place to rest. Add cushioning to your heel and in the toe box—tight toe boxes can lead to bunions, which aren’t worth it from one night of alleged “fun.” If you already have bunions, make sure they’re well cushioned and protected from rubbing or direct pressure. Make those heels squishy!

Choose more reasonable shoes.

Some people are all about those 8-inch Luichiny monstrosities, and that’s just fine. But the rest of us max out at 3-inch heels! If you can bear the thought of walking around in a shorter heel, stick with one that feels more comfortable and more manageable to you. You can even take a tall pair to a repair shop and have them cut the heel down a little bit. I prefer heels that have a thicker spike and a platform toe to help balance out the height.

Take breaks!

It’s definitely okay to take off your shoes for a little while and stretch your toes out. Give your feet a rest for a few minutes and let them breathe! Curl your toes to stretch the muscles and wake your feet up a bit. Massage any parts of your feet that hurt and adjust cushioning as needed.

Think about the way you walk.

If you’re unfamiliar with heels, they can be really difficult to get around in. But veteran heel-wearer and model Tyra Banks has a few tips to walk comfortably in heels! In her video, Banks stresses the importance of posture. Keep your body straight as if being pulled by a string from the skull, and your steps should look more like a light bounce. The fun video explains more thoroughly than I can, but it takes practice!

Good luck!