5 expert high heel hacks to try this summer

As the season of garden parties and racing events gets underway, many of us are dusting off our best dresses and fascinators ready to enjoy a glass of fizz in the sunshine. If you’re going to pair this look with your favourite pair of high-heeled sandals, Rachel Clinkard — from family-run shoe retailer Charles Clinkard — is here to share her top tips on staying comfortable (and calamity-free) this Summer.

While they might look elegant, high heels can sometimes cut your night short due to tired, sore feet. To keep you dancing the whole night through, here are five hacks to make even the highest heels feel more inviting.

Investing in inserts

As anyone who wears heels will know, a lot of pressure can build up in the ball of your foot after a long day of walking (or dancing) in your favourite pair of shoes. Gel inserts can add some extra cushioning to help prevent this pressure and generally make your high heels feel more comfortable. If you need a little support throughout your whole shoe rather than just in the heel, moleskin can also be cut to size for your sole and give your toes more grip.

Similarly, if you have narrow ankles or your heels are just slightly too big, investing in a pack of heel grips can make the world of difference. These small, cushioning pads attach to the inside of your heel, making them a simple, affordable way to keep your shoes from slipping. You can even bring them along in your purse for any emergency fixes throughout the night, so you can dance to your heart’s content — even in court shoes or heels without a strap. You can also use heel grips to make ballet pumps or brogues more comfortable when you switch to flats for the working week.

The tape trick

While this may seem like a bit of an old wives’ tale, many high heel-wearers have found that taping the third and fourth toe on each foot actually makes a real difference to their comfort and balance. This is because one of the main sources of pain felt when wearing high-heeled shoes comes from the nerves in between the major bones in your feet (the metatarsals). These nerves get inflamed when your toes are spread apart in a pair of high heels, so keeping them together with tape can help relieve some of this pressure and prevent any more inflammation (Footwear News).

So, next time you don your favourite pair of pumps, you may want to try taping your toes and see if this hack helps soothe any discomfort. Be sure to use skin-friendly microporous tape and ensure that you have no lotions or other products on your feet before applying the tape. Similarly, while you’ll want the tape to be tight enough to hold your toes together all night, make sure it’s not so tight that you cut off your circulation!

Slippery soles

Especially at summer events, our feet are bound to get warm and a little moist — whether you’re in high heels or not! This is why shopping for shoes in the afternoon is wise, because by then your feet have warmed up and expanded, giving you the most accurate conditions to test out a new pair when you try them on. However, warm feet can also make walking in heels more difficult and make any rubbing worse as our feet slip around on the sole.

One way to combat this is by sprinkling talcum powder in your heels before putting them on, which helps to absorb any extra moisture from the soles of your shoes. A generous spray of dry shampoo can also help, as it is designed to absorb moisture from your hair and can therefore have the same effect on sweaty soles. While you’re using hair products on your shoes, it’s also worth noting that a spritz of hairspray can stop your toes from sliding forwards in a pair of particularly slippery high heels.

Roll-on to the rescue

You may already have this surprising heel hack in your purse! As well as being a hygiene staple (especially in the summer months), roll-on deodorant can help prevent uncomfortable straps and heels you’ve not broken in yet from rubbing your skin. Simply apply the deodorant to the affected areas of your feet, and it will create a barrier between your skin and the shoe that will help to reduce friction. Minimising the amount of sweat on your feet can also prevent those slippery soles from making a reappearance.

Good grip

When it comes to comfort and safety, the base of your high heels can be just as important as the insole or straps. Especially if you’ve not worn them in yet, a new pair of heels can be very slippery, and this can risk you falling over and getting hurt — not the glamorous entrance you envisioned when getting ready this morning! For a quick, affordable solution you could invest in a set of non-slip rubber pads, which will stick to the base of your shoe and prevent you from going head over heels on slippery floors this summer.

“The season of garden parties and racing events is upon us, which means our best suits, dresses, and shoes will finally get some wear. However, as elegant as they might look with the jumpsuit you’ve been saving for a sunny day, a full day in high heels can often be uncomfortable and slow you down. If you want to enjoy your night without the worry of sore feet and slippery soles, there are a few at-home hacks you can try.

“Whether it’s hairspray and tape or heel grips and inserts, experiment with these tried and trusted methods and see which one works best for you. No one wants their night to be cut short by painful shoes, so making sure your feet are comfortable and well-protected means you can dance into the small hours this summer without a care in the world!”

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