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Your new lovely (way too high) heels felt quite bearable in the store. Actually, you thought you wouldn’t even have to abuse your significant other as a walking aid. However, at home, you nearly break your ankles when showing them off. The new shoes seem to be glued to the floor like Cinderella’s glass shoes on the stairs. Moreover, your feet want you to walk up the wall, if only you could walk at all! This post explains why you can walk in heels in the store, but nowhere else, how to avoid the problem in the future, and spills the secrets of the best ways to stay comfortable in heels.



Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post.


It’s No Mystery Why You Can Walk in High Heels in the Store

Does the above scene sound familiar? It is all about physics and a mean selling trick!

You were in the store in the morning or during lunch break. In the evening, you had been on your feet all day. They are swollen, especially, in warm climate regions and/or summer. Therefore, the shoes seem tighter than they seemed to be in the store. Furthermore, your home has tiles or normal household carpet. However, shoe stores have very soft and thick carpets so that even Cinderella’s stepsisters could walk in her glass shoes.

Women love shoes. And so do you Don’t give up! You can wear heels over 50, 60 and beyond!


woman looking at high pumps in store



How to Get High Heels You Can Walk In a Couple of Blocks

Many work dress codes require dress shoes which means heels are a Must. This is just one of 101 reason to wear heels over 40. The best way to stay comfortable in heels is to outsmart the shoe-store businesses! Buy your high heels in the late afternoon or evening. Test-drive the shoes on some hard floor in the store.

If that’s not possible, do not throw the receipt away before your shoes passed the test on hard floor at home. Put a thin foil on the sole so you don’t scratch the sole. When the shoes still feel bearable on hard floor, you are all set for the street’s runways aka sidewalks.


over 60 years old woman showing best ways to stay comfortable in heels
Style blogger over 60 in Fendi booties, Hipstik pantyhose, Max Mara skirt, citrine necklace, Quince sweater.



Know Your Options to Find Comfortable Heels

When the above trick fails to work for you, here are the best ways to stay comfortable in heels by choosing for more comfortable shoes:

  • Try insoles or orthotics. Today there are stylish pairs that look young and hip. See, for instance, my wedge sandals by Dr. Scholl. More on styling orthotics.
  • Check out European brands. Because parking space is scarce in Europe, everyone has to walk a couple of blocks either from where their parked, the bus stop, tram station, or underground. Therefore, you can find comfortable shoes with heels for professional women. See for instance, my review of Spring Step plateau shoes. I wear Söfft heels even in winter.
  • Chose a sturdy heel. Actually, the wider the heel, the easier you can stand and walk in them. Therefore, wedges and block heels require less of a balancing act than walking on a stiletto.
  • In summer, ballroom-dance shoes are an alternative for strappy sandals. When I have to walk a lot on a business trip, I like to wear a pair of 2.5 inch (5 cm) dance sandals. They have good foot support making walking comfortable. Of course, because they have a suede sole, you will have to clue anti-slip soles underneath. Otherwise, the suede sole wears off in no time. A replacement would be very expensive. Furthermore, the anti-slip sole avoids that the sole soaks water when there is a shower. Wet shoes are a recipe for cold feet. More on how to avoid cold feet.


Tips: Closed shoes give you more stability than sling backs or strappy sandals. Stir way from wide toe cleavage for improved stability.


style blogger in blue white skirt with shirt walking in high heels
Orthotics and wedges are some of the best ways to stay comfortable in heels. The heel cap keeps the feet from sliding to the sides. The foot bed enhances comfort. Dr. Scholl wedge sandals, Carhartt gingham shirt, Oliveo denim skirt, Winkwood sunglasses, backpack c/o Jord, Hermes collier de chien bangle.



What about the Height?

Most women experience any height greater than 2 inches (5 cm) as painful. The reason is as follows: The higher the heel, the more pressure is on the balls of your feet, which becomes painful fast when you are not used to these beauties.


Tip: Wedges with a slight plateau (less than 3/4 inch) give height without the need to chose a 3 inches (7.5 cm) pair.



How to Walk in High Heels

Most people walk by putting the heel on the ground first. Then they roll up over the ball of the foot. This works perfect bare feet, in old-school sneakers, ballet flats, flat gladiators, flip-flops, and flat-outs. However, this natural walking technique obviously fails to work when the heel is just a quarter of an inch or less wide. Consequently, in heels, you need a different technique.


various stilettos, dress shoes and sandals
Upper row from left: Ivanka Trump, Puma, Ugg, Neo Tango, Ivanka Trump. Lower row from left: Ivanka Trump, Puma, Ivanka Trump, Ugg, Neo Tango.



Instead lift your hip, and put it forward like in salsa dancing. Then commit to put your weight on the ball of your foot. It’s obvious that this walking technique has to be practiced. When you nail it, you can even catch the bus running in heels.


Advice: When you are new to high heels, exercise walking in them at home. It never looks stylish wobbling down the street or in the office.


Photos: G. Kramm

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