It might be hard to believe, but there are heels out there that don’t require days to break-in. In fact, you can wear a high heel that doesn’t cause your foot to blister or ankle to wobble.
Podiatrists say the most comfortable heel to wear all day is a wedge. Both the podiatrist from Balance Podiatry Elizabeth Piselli, DPM, DABPM, and the podiatrist from the Ankle & Foot Centers of America Gregory Alvarez, DPM, FACFAS, agree that the wedge is able to provide the most even support from heel-to-toe.
But, there are times when an outfit screams for a pump, sandal, or stiletto. Good thing that comfortable versions of all the aforementioned styles exist.
Key must-haves in a comfortable heel
Dr. Piselli says heels need to be comfortable right away. You shouldn’t expect to be able to break them in. To assure you’re buying comfortable heels to wear all day, make sure that that the ball of your foot isn’t under a lot of pressure when you’re standing up.
It’s also important to have enough support under the arch of your foot, per Dr. Alvarez’s recommendation.
“Look for foam or gel inserts to help absorb shock and reduce fatigue. . . Too high of a heel can lead to balance issues and increase your risk of falls or ankle sprains,” the podiatrist noted.
How to tell a heel won’t be comfortable to stand in all day
The best way to know if a heel is going to be comfortable for you is to try it on, according to Dr. Alvarez. When you put on your heels make sure that your foot doesn’t wobble, the ball of your foot doesn’t feel a lot of pressure, the shoe isn’t too tight, and that the sole of your shoe has some grip to it.
Tip: if you buy a comfortable pair of heels but the bottom is super smooth, you can take it to a cobbler and they can add a grip-panel to the bottom of your shoe so you don’t slide everywhere.
Issues uncomfortable heels may cause
Dr. Piselli says if you don’t wear the right heel for your foot, it will likely swell. The podiatrist also mentioned that your achilles tendon can shorten and that you can get nerve damage in the ball of your foot, if you consistently wear uncomfortable heels.
Dr. Alvarez listed five common issues that wearing uncomfortable high heels can cause: bunions, blisters, heel pain, ankle sprains, and arch pain. To avoid any discomfort in your stride, shop these seven shoes to find your next pair of comfortable heels for standing all day.
A classic pump
Dr. Piselli recommended shopping Marion Parke’s namesake collection of footwear. Among her assortment of styles are the Classic 85mm Pumps. The 3.3-inch covered stiletto heels feature built-in arch support and cupping within the heel. Made of leather inside and out, you can slide into supportive luxurious heels at the office or a night out.
Vionic’s Adalena Heel stands four inches tall, the highest the brand makes. Featuring a leather upper, flared heel, and rubber outsole, this slingback heel will comfortably cradle your foot. There’s cushioning, arch support, stability, and flexibility built into the shoe.
The sandal of the summer
Dolce Vita’s Paily Heels boast a stylish double braided sandal silhouette that offers stability and comfort. A 3.2-inch half-cylinder heel, flexible sole, cushioned footbed, and rubber outsole come together to offer support all day long. Plus, a number of the heel’s 27 colors, come in US sizes four through 15.
Hush Puppies Sofie Cross Pump are a great choice, if you like a heel that’s not-so-high. The two-inch block heel shoes are made of a flexible suede, so the shoe softly hugs your foot. And, the inside of the pump is cushioned for extra support.
Naot’s Resort Summer shoe is the wedge you’ve been waiting for. At its lowest point the sandal stands at 1.25 inches, while the highest end of the shoe is 2.75 inches tall. The adjustable leather straps as well as the cork and latex footbed make this a cozy shoe to wear all day any day.
Wide width strappy sandal
If you have a wide foot, fear not, there’s a comfy heel for you too. Fashion to Figure’s Lana Wide Width Strappy Heels feature a 2.5-inch block heel and wide footbed so you’ll never feel like you’re about to topple over. With a customizable tie-up closure, you can add as much ankle support as you need depending on how you wrap the strands around your lower leg.
Looking for a comfy heel that stands out? Take a look at the Stuart Weitzman Front Row Stretch Exposed Bootie. Dr. Piselli mentioned that the Stuart Weitzman company has worked to make a perfectly pitched shoe and their toe box tends to be wider. The bootie element of the 4.33-inch tall shoe also provides extra support around the ankle, too.