Style

How to properly wear (and recover from) high-heeled shoes

Want to avoid “shoeacide” when wearing high heels? Dr. Hillary Brenner shares smart tips to keep your feet healthy (and pain-free) when wearing sky-high footwear:

Pick the right shoe
To make sure the high heel is a stable shoe, perform the following test:

  1. Make sure the toe box bends in a upward motion. If you can bend the shoe in half like a burrito, it is not a supportive shoe.
  2. Make sure there is plenty of arch support and cushion in the toe box.
  3. The heel should be wide or chunky.
  4. Try to stay with a heel height 2-inches or lower, look for high heels that have straps around the ankle and a platform toe box.

Exercise
Perform daily simple strengthening and pain preventing moves such as: 

  • Towel scrunches: Sit barefoot on the ground or in a chair with your feet placed on top of a towel. Use your toes to keep scrunching the towel toward you for about 30 seconds — repeat two or three times.
  • Classic calf stretch: Place your hands on a wall with your left foot behind you. Gently lunge forward with your right leg, while keeping your left leg straight and your left heel on the ground. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch legs. Repeat three times. 
  1. Twice a week, soak your feet for 10 minutes in Epsom salt. Epsom salt contains magnesium which will help decrease swelling and soreness.
  2. Apply a rich hydrating cream such as Shea butter two times a day to your feet. The more you hydrate the skin, the less chance of getting blisters and cuts from the shoes.
  3. Place inserts in your shoes which will properly place your skeletal system in a neutral alignment and aid in shock absorption. Inserts can range from custom made all the way to foot petals.
  4. When wearing high heels, only wear them for up to 2-3 hours at a time. When you're sitting down, the clock stops. The key word is moderation.
  • Slideshow Photos

    Jay Zukerkorn

    'Killer Heels': The art of the high-heeled shoe

    High-heeled shoes — a signifier of sexiness, femininity, glamour and status through the ages — are on display at the Brooklyn Museum.

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    Killer Heels

    Kicking off New York Fashion Week, a new exhibition at the Brooklyn Musuem entitled "Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe" looks at high-heeled shoes from the 1600s to the present. See some of the quirky and kinky shoes here.

    André Perugia's "Evening Sandals" 1928-29, made of leather and metal.

    Courtesy of Brooklyn Museum / Courtesy of Brooklyn Museum
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    Cat Potter's "Pernilla, Look 5."

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    Aperlaï.'s “Geisha Lines,” from Fall 2013, made of leather.

    Courtesy of Brooklyn Museum / Courtesy of Brooklyn Museum
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    Balenciaga's block heel, Spring 2013.

    Courtesy of Brooklyn Museum / Courtesy of Brooklyn Museum
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    Beth Levine's “Kabuki,” an evening shoe, circa 1965 in silk, metal, and wood.

    Courtesy of Brooklyn Museum / Courtesy of Brooklyn Museum
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    Casuccio e Scalera per Loris Azzaro's sandal, 1974–79 made of leather, synthetic material and cotton.

    Courtesy of Brooklyn Museum / Courtesy of Brooklyn Museum
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    Chau Har Lee's “Blade Heel,” from 2010, made of perspex, stainless steel and leather.

    Courtesy of Brooklyn Museum / Courtesy of Brooklyn Museum
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    Manchu Woman's Shoe, 19th century, from China, made of cotton and embroidered satin-weave silk.

    Courtesy of Brooklyn Museum / Courtesy of Brooklyn Museum
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    Christian Dior and Roger Vivier's evening slippers for House of Dior,1960, made of silk, metal, synthetic and glass.

    Courtesy of Brooklyn Museum / Courtesy of Brooklyn Museum
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    Christian Louboutin's “Metropolis,” Fall/Winter 2010-11, made of calfskin and silver spikes.

    Courtesy of Brooklyn Museum / Courtesy of Brooklyn Museum
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    "Printz" by Christian Louboutin, Spring and Summer 2013-14.

    Courtesy of Brooklyn Museum / Courtesy of Brooklyn Museum
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    French boots from 1900-1920s, made of leather and cellulose.

    Courtesy of Brooklyn Museum / Courtesy of Brooklyn Museum
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    Iris van Herpen X United Nude's, “Beyond Wilderness,” from 2013.

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    French shoes from 1690-1700s, made of silk and leather.

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    Chopine's Italian shoe,1550-1650s, made of silk and metal. High-platformed shoes were especially popular among Venetian women.

    Courtesy of Brooklyn Museum / Courtesy of Brooklyn Museum
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    JANTAMINIAU's “L’Image Tranquille,” 2013. Handcrafted by René van den Bezrg.

    Courtesy of Brooklyn Museum / Courtesy of Brooklyn Museum
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    Miu Miu's "Cammeo Baroque" leather wedge, Fall/Winter 2006.

    Courtesy of Brooklyn Museum / Courtesy of Brooklyn Museum
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    Nicholas Kirkwood's pumps, Spring/Summer 2013, made of suede with gold and clear Swarovski crystals.

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    Noritaka Tatehana's “Atom,” 2012-13, made from faux leather.

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    Prada's wedge sandal in Rosso, Bianco and Nero leather, Spring/Summer 2012.

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    Rem D. Koolhaas' “Eamz,” 2004.

    Courtesy of Brooklyn Museum / Courtesy of Brooklyn Museum
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    Roger Vivier's "Virgule Houndstooth,” Fall 2014, made of calf hair.

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    Salvatore Ferragamo's platform sandal, 1938, made of leather and cork.

    Courtesy of Brooklyn Museum / Courtesy of Brooklyn Museum
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    Victor's platform sandal, circa 1940, America, made of leather.

    Courtesy of Brooklyn Museum / Courtesy of Brooklyn Museum
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    Vivienne Westwood's “Super Elevated Gillie,” 1993.

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    Walter Steiger's “Unicorn Tayss,” Spring 2013.

    Courtesy of Brooklyn Museum / Courtesy of Brooklyn Museum
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    Winde Rienstra's “Bamboo Heel,” 2012, made of bamboo, glue and plastic cable ties.

    Courtesy of Brooklyn Museum / Courtesy of Brooklyn Museum


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