How to know if you’re wearing the right size high heels

How to know if you're wearing the right size high heels

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if your heels are consistently killing you, the issue might be bigger than just needing to break them in. These signs your heels aren’t the right size can help you determine whether or not it’s time to find a new pair altogether. No matter how cute those killer stilettos are or how much of a deal you got on those designer heels, if they don’t fit, they’re not going to work.

Heels are tricky to begin with, so it can be difficult to figure out if the problem is your willpower to make them work or an actual sizing issue. If you’ve already scanned my pageant girl’s tips for how to walk in high heels and tried the must-do hacks to make walking in heels more comfortable, the shoes themselves could be the culprit.

I know it’s hard to imagine parting with a pair of heels with nothing seemingly "wrong" with them, but not fitting correctly is a big deal! I remember this one pair of epic chunky heels I’d found sifting through a farmers market thrift pile in Los Angeles, and hardly even tried them on before I bought them. They were ultimately too small and I knew it, but I’d still try to wear them and pretend my toes weren’t getting absolutely shredded every time. Looking back, was it worth it? Hell. No.

If you can relate to several things on the list below, it’s time to consider a new pair!

1. Too Much Sliding

A little wiggle room in heels is good, but Glamour pointed out that too much is legit dangerous and it’s time to let the shoes go if inserts aren’t helping enough.

2. Agonizing Walking

WikiHow shared that if walking in your heels is absolutely wrecking the ball of your foot, no stilettos are worth risking your health over. Consider reaching for heels with a slight platform at the ball of the foot to help relieve some of the pressure.

3. Consistent Blisters

If you’re still getting blisters consistently after the first two weeks, you and those heels might just not be destined to be together. Sorry, kiddo.

4. Overhanging Toes

Ugh, I love my feet but have fairly long toes which means peep toe shoes are just never going to be my friends. If you’ve got the same issue of overhanging toes whether it’s a peep toe heel or something else, time to move on!

5. Improper Heel Placement

Pediatrist Emma Supple told Daily Mail, "[The heel] needs to be right under the heel bone, not at the back of the foot, as is the case with some shoes. If the stiletto is positioned too far back, you are going to be thrown off balance and everything will hurt." Where does your heel line up?

6. Straps Cutting In

The straps are just as important as the shoe themselves. If you find that they’re cutting into you anywhere, no amount of "breaking in" will change that.

7. Heel Bobbing

If your heel lifts more than a comfortable 1/2 inch out of the shoe with each step, you’re practically asking to fall. Consider a half size down or adding heel inserts to make the fit more snug.

How to know if you're wearing the right size high heels

Finding the perfect pair of heels is the holy grail for every heels-wearing person in the world. It’s like hitting the Powerball jackpot or like passing an exam you thought you would fail.

Getting to this amazing place, however, requires a lot of trial and error, effort, thought and knowing your comfortable heels size.

Wearing heels that don’t fit right can cause different kind of painful foot issues like ingrown toenails, corns, bunions and more.

Most of you know how it feels to wear dress shoes and how it results in aching squashed toes, pressure on the ball and heels of your feet.

When shopping online, you probably have seen the confusing shoe size chart. In this article i will show you ow to measure your feet the right way and use this chart.

So, that, you may find the perfect fitting heels to avoid these feet issues.

knowing your right shoe size is a key factor to finding comfortable heels

Knowing your right shoe size and fit. Heels that we can find in regular shoe stores come in standard sizes.

The shoe store salespeople will trick you into believing that the heels will eventually stretch out and be comfortable. And we believe that… So, we buy those heels even though in our heart we know those heels don’t fit right.
At the end, we don’t even wear the heels we bought and dump our new heels with the other heels we rarely wear.

We all know that feet come in different shapes. That means that one may have wider and the other have extra narrow or even medium sized feet.

How should heels fit?

When you wear high heels, you want your toes to be lying flat and comfortable next to each other. You don’t want them to be squashed, because this will eventually hurt. Check out these article on the heels you need to avoid.

You also want your toes to feel snug, not tight, in closed heels like pumps.

It’s also important that your feet fits comfortably at the ball of your feet. This is the widest part of the shoe. Most heels are not designed to be wide enough at this part.
How to measure your feet to find the right width fit for you

Pay extra attention to how your feet feel in this area when you are testing your heels.

How to measure your feet for heels

Grab a piece of paper and outline your feet using a pen or pencil on a secure and flat surface, while holding your pencil/pen as firm and straight as possible.

It’s important that you outline the shape of your feet, holding the pen as close to your feet.

Now, that you have a print of your feet. Measure the lowest point of the bottom of the heel to the longest toe. You have measured the length of your feet.

How to know if you're wearing the right size high heels

Graceful, elegant and empowering, heels are a style staple in every woman’s wardrobe. When you’re shopping for heels there’s no single style that suits all, with different heights and styles suitable for a number of occasions.

Some women like to wear heels on a day to day basis, others only bring them out when they’re dressing up to the nines. Here’s all your high heel questions answered- from heel sizes, through to how to wear different heel heights and finding the perfect pair for you.

Are heels comfortable?

For maximum comfort and to protect your feet, be sure to buy shoes that are well crafted and well made, not just fashionable as some styles that aren’t supportive enough or heels that are too high can give you difficulty walking and lead to back problems. Be sure to always try your new heels on and walk around in them before wearing them out and about for the first time.

How is heel height measured?

Heel height is generally measured in inches. To measure your heel height follow these steps:

  • Place your shoes on a flat surface.
  • Hold a tape measure against the back of your shoe.
  • Measure from the highest point on the back of your heel to the point where the shoe meets the top of the heel cap.

Depending on your shoe size, sometimes the heel size won’t be exact to the inch. They might be a little bigger than a full inch, or a little smaller.

Heel height conversion chart

How to know if you're wearing the right size high heels

Which is the best heel height for me?

The right shoes height for you all depends on personal preference and how comfortable you are walking in heels.

  • Heels below 3 inches tend to be most comfortable and are available in a number of flattering styles from peep toes, block heels and round toes.
  • Heels above 3 inches might become a little more difficult to walk in and are usually reserved for dressy occasions like evenings out and nights on the town.

Can I adjust my heel height?

Heel height can be adjusted if needed- but usually only by a few millimetres. If high heels are adjusted too much, or incorrectly, the balance of the shoe will be affected causing problems when walking.

  • Reducing heel height can cause problems. The main problem that reducing the heel height causes is known as ‘kick under’. Kick under is when the heel of the shoes fold under the shoes a little. This happens because the heel isn’t the size it was made to be for the shoe.
  • It’s best done by a professional. If you really want your shoe height adjusting, you should take your shoes to a cobblers. They will then be able to decide whether the shoes can be adjusted and remain wearable.

What type of heels will suit my feet?

Heels can be very comfortable to wear if you find the right heel height and shape. If you have:

  • Narrow feet – pointed toe high heels fit a slimmer foot well and offer plenty of support.
  • Wide feet – round toe high heels will have plenty of room at the front, whereas pointed heels may feel too tight and uncomfortable.
  • High arches – very low heels under a couple of inches high will be the most comfortable.
  • Low arches – 2-4 inch heels will support your foot best and feel comfortable to walk in.

How can I get better at wearing heels?

  • Find heels that are wider and shorter. We’re not saying you have to stick with the 2 inch high heels for the rest of your life but the thicker and smaller the heel, the easier to walk in. The wider the heel is, the more support it’ll give to the heel of your feet, which means less pain.

Best options include: wedges and block heels

Avoid: stillettoes and heels over 4 inches high

  • Pack a spare pair of flats in your bag. If you’re going to a party wearing heels or you’re going to be on your feet all day, take some flats with you. Invest in a pair of flats that will easily fit in your bag and switch them over when you start to feel the burn.
  • Wear them in first. Practice makes perfect and wearing your new heels in the house before their first outing is a great way to bed them in. Try walking around in them for 15- 30 minutes at a time to give your feet a chance to get used to them.

Are high heels professional?

The right pair of heels can look very professional and can often be favoured to flats in a number of workplaces. Your working environment and job role will ultimately determine whether heels are suitable or not for work, as will your confidence and levels of comfort in heels.

Heels at the office

Many office jobs and their dress codes permit wearing heels to work. Lower heel heights work best at work and court shoe styles tends to be preferable as they’re much more practical, especially in roles where you’re on your feet all day. Heels 4 inches and above may be a little too high for running around the office in and might cause you some discomfort when worn for long periods of time. Lower heels are a more professional heel height.

Heels for a job interview

When it comes to job interviews, wearing what you feel most confident and comfortable in is key, whether that’s heels or flats. Heels can add an extra polished smarter touch to your outfit but always be sure that you can walk in them before the big day to avoid any embarrassing mishaps.

If you’re still having problems with your shoes and they’re hurting your feet, why not take a look at our guide to making high heeled party shoes more comfortable for some more tips?

How to know if you're wearing the right size high heels

High heels make many women look sexy and feel sexy — and they can be empowering when worn with some sensibility. Here are some high heels tips to remember next time you are down for a little romance!

1. How high can you go?

How to know if you're wearing the right size high heels

First, figure out the maximum height of the heel you can wear without toppling over or suffering great agony. Imagine posing in your high heels and giving him the come hither look… and then tumbling over in a heap as you attempt to approach him and release your inner vixen. Not what you imagined! You want to look and feel authoritative, alluring and powerful. Start with a 3- or 4-inch heel and work your way up.

2. Select a comfortable shoe size

When wearing high heel shoes above 1- to 2-inch height difference, your feet will tend to be pushed forward in your shoes. If you are uncertain about your real size, simply take the time and effort for an exact measurement. Then choose a size larger that you would normally wear to avoid what I call “the onion bunion effect.” A reasonable formula is below:

  • For high heels between 2 to 3 1/2 inches — go with 1/2 size larger.
  • For high heels between 4 to 6 inches — go with 1 full size larger.
  • For high heels 6 1/2 inches and above — go with 1-1/2 sizes larger.

3. Open or shut?

Decide if you prefer open toe or closed toe high heel shoes. Do not jam your foot into high heels shoes or choose a shoe that will force your toes together — you don’t want Vienna sausage toes the next day! You may try choosing open-toe high heel shoes instead of a similarly styled heel that causes discomfort in your toes. (Check out the Christian Louboutin Ambrosina pumps below — a fave among Hollywood’s elite.)Again, you want to increase your confidence and feel good during your transformation. Wincing in pain as he caresses the length of your legs is not sexy.

How to know if you're wearing the right size high heels4. Practice standing

Slipping on a pair of sexy high heel shoes can make your legs look really great. And you’ll be anxious to use your shoes to your advantage and make them work for you when the occasion demands.However, you have to stand before you can walk. How do you do that? Practice, practice, practice! Try standing in your high heels shoes for a couple minutes a day — about 10-15 minutes should do it. Got Wilma Flintstone feet? You’re not alone. This little exercise will help get your feet accustomed to the shoe and it will gently stretch the shoe to the shape of your foot.

5. Prepare to walk

How to know if you're wearing the right size high heels

I know, I know. The shoes look fantastic on your feet and you feel they have enhanced you femininity and the sophistication of your look. You are ready to strut! But, slow down. Just as you practiced standing in the high heels shoes, you now have to graduate to walking in them. Think of it as training.Walking in high heels shoes is a major adjustment — not just for your feet, but also for your entire body. Attempt to walk in them for about 20 minutes a day, preferably in the evening. As you walk in your high heel shoes, it should be part of your plan of seduction, not a plan of attack. To look graceful, take small steps, not long strides. Then, gradually increase your time walking in them around the house.As you get use to wearing higher heeled shoes, do not forget to go flat or barefoot, too! High heels are not recommended for every-day, all-day wear. Save the use of your high-heeled shoes for occasions or functions in which you will not be on your feet for extended periods of time. Pumps and stiletto heels should be worn for short time spans — I suggest two to four hours maximum.High-heeled shoes can enable you to turn from day to day lady to night vamp in one easy step. With some practice, time and effort, you will strut in your high heel shoes and cause a commotion every time he sees you wearing them.

See more on high heels/pumps

Note: Although this information is provided in the best of faith, the risk of wearing high heels is yours and yours alone. Remember, high heels can cause injury to you or others, especially if you are not used to them, so take care! I am not in any way medically qualified but do have considerable personal experience in high heels. If you develop physical problems, and you are warned this may be the case if heels are worn, then you are advised to seek qualified, medical advice. Immediately. I am not here to encourage you to wear high heels but merely to provide information and relate my personal opinions. These are not guaranteed to be accurate — but as I have said, they are provided in the best of faith for your personal use and choice. My experience with high heels is personal, tempered with common sense.

We've already seen how much a simple piece of tape can seriously lessen the amount of pain caused by your high heels, but another piece of research to emerge from the footwear field is even more mind-blowing. According to The Wall Street Journal, a study out of the UK reveals that as many as half of all women are wearing the wrong shoe size. Wait, what?

According to the study conducted by the College of Podiatry, of 2000 adults surveyed, one-third of men and nearly half of women admitted to purchasing shoes that didn't exactly fit. While it might not seem like a huge deal whether a pair of heels feel a smidge too tight at the time of purchase, the research shows that improperly fitting shoes can actually have a number of negative health effects. Hammertoes, deformities, bunion growth, and consistent foot pain are givens, but poorly fitting shoes can also contribute to things like headaches and back pain.

The solution? Never wear a pair of shoes you haven't confirmed properly fit. In theory, this means shopping online for shoes is a risk, and if they don't fit when you receive them, you should return them. But more importantly, getting a really solid measurement of your feet to determine the size you should be wearing is a must. Back in the day, most people had their feet professionally measured on a regular basis. Nowadays, that's a rarity. But there's good news: You can do it yourself.

Read on for eight easy DIY steps for how to measure your shoe size.

1. Take out a piece of notebook paper. If you don't have lined notebook paper, a normal piece of paper will do.

2. Place your naked footor your socked foot, depending on how you most often wear shoesonto the piece of paper. We recommend sitting in a chair or crouching, not standing. Also make sure you are on a truly flat surface, like a part of your house with hardwood floors.

3. Trace your foot. We recommend using a pen or pencil for this part so you don't leave any serious markings on your foot and/or sock. When you're done, it should look like your foot tracing is inside a rectangle.

4. Outline your tracing with straight lines. Using a ruler, draw a perfectly straight line on each edge of your foot: the toes, each side, and the heel.

Shoes serve many functions. They protect our feet. They cushion our body weight. They can make our feet feel comfortable or fashionable — hopefully both! Finding the proper shoes and making sure they fit are important for keeping your feet and your body happy. Poorly fitting shoes can be painful and cause foot problems like bunions, corns, calluses, hammertoes, plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, and more.

Follow these tips from Foot and Ankle Orthopaedic Surgeons to find the right shoes for you:

Have your feet measured. Your foot size and shape can change over time. Don’t rely on the fact that you have always worn a certain size.

Fit your shoes to the larger foot. Most people have one foot that is larger than the other, so make sure you have BOTH feet measured.

Get measured at the end of the day when your feet are the largest. When you are up during the day, your feet will swell and settle some. You want to make sure you are comfortable throughout the day and not just when you head out of the house in the morning.

Don’t rely on shoe size alone. Just like clothes, the size marked inside the shoe may be different depending on the brand. So your shoe size is a just a starting point in selecting the correct shoe.

Look at the shape of the shoe. Make sure the shoe shape resembles the shape of your foot and fits your foot comfortably.

Don’t plan on shoes stretching over time. They should fit well when you buy them.

Check the width of the shoe. The ball of your foot (the widest part just before your toes begin) should fit comfortably in the widest part of the shoe.

Check the depth of the shoe. The shoe should be deep enough to fit your toes, especially if you have hammertoes or other conditions. If the shoe’s toe box is too small, your toes will rub against the top of the shoe and you will get calluses or sores.

Check the space at the end of the shoe. Stand up and make sure there is 3/8″ or 1/2″ (about the width of your finger) between your longest toe (usually the second toe) and the end of the shoe.

Always stand and walk around in the shoes to see if they are comfortable, fit well, and don’t chafe or rub anywhere. Your heel should not slip or slide while walking.

Additional Tips

Match the shoe to your activity

Your ideal shoes will change based on the activity you want to do while wearing them.

Running shoes are specially designed to provide the proper cushioning at the heel and flexibility at the toes that athletes need.

Walking shoes have a shock absorbing heel and flex at the ball of the foot.

Cross-trainers are often good all-purpose shoes for general exercise. Basketball shoes are meant for basketball and may not be the best choice if you do a lot of walking.

Cycling shoes are stiffer to help you pedal more efficiently but don’t work well for most other activities.

Dress shoes can be comfortable as well as look good. Many dress shoes are now made with a sneaker-like sole that provides better cushioning and tread and better arch support. Expensive Italian loafers are not for everybody.


Look for good shoe construction

Some basic principles of a good shoe include a cushioned heel, firm sole that doesn’t easily twist or bend, and flexibility at the proper area depending on the type of shoe.

  • If the upper part of the shoe is made from a soft, breathable material, it will be more comfortable to wear for longer period of time and less likely to cause rubbing or skin irritation.
  • The upper part of the shoe should have laces or straps to hold the foot in place comfortably with activity.
  • There should be some arch support in the shoe or in the insert inside the shoe. Many shoes can be made to fit better simply by removing the factory insert and replacing it with a high-quality off-the-shelf orthotic. Custom orthotics are rarely necessary and should be prescribed by your foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeon for specific foot disorders.

Following these steps will help minimize your risk of shoe problems and foot problems. If you experience foot or ankle problems, talk to a foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeon near you.

Original article by Daniel Farber, MD
Last reviewed by Andrew Rosenbaum, MD, 2018

The American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS) offers information on this site as an educational service. The content of FootCareMD, including text, images, and graphics, is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnoses or treatments. If you need medical advice, use the “Find a Surgeon” search to locate a foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeon in your area.

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When I watch women walking in high heels, as a man, I think, “Wow, how do they do it?” As a podiatrist, however, I think, “Wow, why would they do it?” It’s a known fact that when a woman wears heels they look taller (duh!) and slimmer, their legs look longer and to some, this may be more attractive. Some women love wearing heels, some women hate it but do it anyway, some women don’t mind, and others just stay away from them altogether. Here’s the scoop on heels from a podiatrist’s perspective.

Let me share some information that you may thank me for later, or better yet, your tired high-heel-wearing feet will thank me. The ideal heel height is not 4 inches (thank goodness), it is not 3 inches, and it’s not 2 inches. The ideal heel height is 1 inch. Wearing a short heel is better than not wearing a heel at all. Wearing a shoe with a short heel places less tension in the Achilles tendon and will feel more comfortable. Wearing shoes that are completely flat will contribute to pronation and the collapse of the arch which can lead to plantar and posterior heel pain, shin splints, knee pain, and back pain. And of course, you should always wear a shoe that has arch support to minimize discomfort.

Now, as good as a high heel might look on your legs (hello, 4-inch pumps!) the long term effects of wearing such heels is not worth it. Constantly wearing high heels can result in painful damage to your feet. One of the negative effects of wearing high heels is the damage that it can cause to your toenails. Wearing high heels compresses the toes together causing the big toenail to grow into the skin and eventually resulting in an ingrown toenail. High heels also aggravate the symptoms and progression of bunion deformities as the shape of the shoe does not accommodate the normal structure of the forefoot. A heel-type shoe will press up against the great toe pushing it over towards the second toe further exacerbating bunion deformities. When wearing high heels most of your body weight is pushed forward to the balls of your feet and this can lead to metatarsalgia. Shoes with a narrow toe box can also cause this condition. Hammertoes are also a condition developed by high heels. The heel height forces the toes to bend as they lean forward. Over time, the bent toe can no longer straighten on its own. Wearing high heels can cause tendonitis. When wearing high heels you put constant pressure on the Achilles tendon by shortening and tightening it. Repeated and extended wear of high heels shortens the tendon permanently. This leads to inflammation and pain when you wear flat shoes and forces the tight tendon to stretch.

As a podiatrist, I pay a lot of attention to the shoes that people wear. It’s easy to tell when a woman is wearing the wrong shoes. I can tell a woman is wearing the wrong shoes when her body is not positioned at a 90-degree angle with the ground: her sway is longer and her chest is pushed forward while her buttocks is further back. The body weight pushes forward so the center of pressure is moved towards the balls of the feet. The walk translates to being a more jerky stride rather than smooth.

When looking for heels it is important to not only pick the right heel height but also to look for one with a wider toe box to accommodate the toes comfortably. This can reduce the probability of developing Morton’s Neuroma or aggravating an existing bunion deformity. Also, heels with ankle straps help support the shoe on the foot and eliminate the need for your toes to hang onto the shoe thus reducing the development of hammertoes. A platform on the heel allows the wearer to increase height without compensating the arch however the height difference between the front and back of the shoe should be no more than an inch. One should never wear a heel over 3 inches in height because it changes the biomechanics of how you walk. This leads to shorter strides, more pressure placed on the balls of your feet, and unnecessary stress on your knees and lower back.

Proper fitting shoes provide a proper platform for our feet to support our body. Our feet are the foundation to our bodies and caring for them means caring for the rest of your body too. Shoes that are too big mean you will be accommodating the improperly fitted size in a dysfunctional way which may lead to foot problems. I suggest getting your feet measured for length and width with a brannock device and buying the right fitting shoe. It is important to take into consideration that the size of shoes varies from company to company.

Heels are designed for fashion; they are not made for comfort or for happy feet. Keep in mind, love your feet and they will love you back!

How to know if you're wearing the right size high heelsDr. Miguel Cunha Dr. Miguel Cunha, Board Certified Surgical Podiatrist, founder of Gotham Footcare, and leading podiatrist in Manhattan is a highly trained and skilled foot and ankle surgeon with experience treating a wide array of foot and ankle conditions from minor problems to complex reconstructive foot and ankle surgery. Dr. Cunha takes pride in having a genuine interest in each and every one of his patients while providing them the utmost compassion and exceptional care.

Your First Step to Getting Better

At Gotham Footcare in NYC, we strive at recognizing your individual needs and desired outcomes while formulating an effective and personalized treatment plan with the highest quality care available.

What sets Gotham Footcare apart from other podiatry offices is our dedication to providing you with the education you need to make well-informed decisions regarding your care. Regardless of what your foot and ankle trouble may be, at Gotham Footcare our team will work tirelessly to help you feel better. At Gotham Footcare, we help you put your best foot forward.

Stars and royalty are wearing heels one size too big. Meghan Markle does it to avoid bunions and blisters. Her heels always have a little wiggle room. It sounds like a good idea, doesn’t it? Well, let me tell you why it’s not.

When you wear a shoe that fits your foot properly, not tight and not loose, it provides a good platform for your foot to support your body, given that it is a good shoe to begin with. As we all know, if you wear a shoe that is too tight it will hurt your feet and lead to foot ailments, such as blisters, bunions and calluses. But wearing a shoe that is too big will cause us to walk in an unnatural and dysfunctional way. This can lead to serious foot problems.

When buying new shoes, one should buy shoes that fit comfortably. Also, do not assume that a size in one brand equates to the same size in another. When you buy new shoes measure your foot’s length and width with a Brannock Device. A Brannock Device is the standard foot measuring tool used by footwear designers and manufacturers. Use these measurements to find a proper fitting shoe and always try on and walk around wearing the shoe.

The only time that you could wear a shoe in a bigger size is when purchasing a sneaker but you should only go up about half a size. The reason for this is that our feet tend to swell because fluid accumulates due to gravity with prolonged standing and weight baring activities. Buying a sneaker that is slightly larger than your foot allows for better circulation which minimizes swelling. If one foot is slightly larger than the other go for the bigger size and always consider the kind of socks you plan to wear with your shoes. Your feet will thank you at the end of the day when they are comfortable, supported, and unrestricted.

Still think Meghan Markle might be onto something? Buying a heel that is larger may feel more comfortable and aggravate a bunion slightly less as it gives the great toe a little more wiggle room, but it won’t prevent the formation of bunions any less than a smaller sized heel as they will still alter your gait and the natural biomechanics of the foot. Heels are designed for fashion; they are not made for comfort. Heels alter the ability of the foot to absorb shock evenly across the foot and to hold up our body weight. A larger sized heel will still force the distribution of weight onto the ball of your foot and compact your toes into a small space which will still lead to the progression of bunions, especially when you are predisposed to having them. In fact, a heel that is too big may equally pose the same amount of problems as a heel that is too small. Heels that are too big can also cause friction that can result in painful blisters, callouses and corns, especially on the back of the heel as the foot slides back and forth with every step. The constant rubbing of the back of the shoe against the heel can be painful and annoying and provoke blisters. The blisters may also become infected and lead to even greater complications.

When you wear heels that are too big it will alter the way you walk. They will cause your heel to repeatedly slip out of the shoe with every step. To stop this from happening you contract your toes with every step to hold the shoe onto your foot. The repetitive contracture of the toes is counterproductive and actually further contributes to the formation of bunions and hammertoes. Shoes should support your feet. It shouldn’t be the other way around. Your feet shouldn’t have to support your shoes. Wearing shoes that don’t feel right can lead to other painful medical conditions, such as arch pain, neuromas, and Achilles tendonitis. The way you walk in shoes that don’t fit properly will not only affect your feet, but will also affect other parts of your body, like your knees, back, and neck.

So Meghan may have found the right guy but she definitely hasn’t chosen the right shoe. If you’re looking for a shoe idol maybe you should look at Cinderella instead because her shoe fits. And as the saying goes, if the shoe fits, wear it!

How to know if you're wearing the right size high heels

Your First Step to Getting Better

At Gotham Footcare in NYC, we strive at recognizing your individual needs and desired outcomes while formulating an effective and personalized treatment plan with the highest quality care available.

What sets Gotham Footcare apart from other podiatry offices is our dedication to providing you with the education you need to make well-informed decisions regarding your care. Regardless of what your foot and ankle trouble may be, at Gotham Footcare our team will work tirelessly to help you feel better. At Gotham Footcare, we help you put your best foot forward.

How to know if you're wearing the right size high heels

Shopping for shoes is a pastime for some and a chore for others. But whether you enjoy buying shoes or not, the reality is we all have to wear them.

Shoes provide support and protect your feet from injury. They can keep your feet comfortable or cause pain and damage. The key is knowing what to look for.

David B. Glover, DPM, FACFAS, and our team at Mountain View Foot & Ankle Institute know that the right shoes can make a big difference for the health of your feet. In this blog, we share the dos and don’ts of shopping for shoes.

Do these things when buying shoes

Try on shoes before buying

Different brands and styles of shoes can fit differently, and the only way to know if a pair fits is to try them on. When you go shopping, wear or bring socks that are similar to the socks you’ll wear with the shoes. If you’re shopping for dress shoes, bring dress socks. If you’re buying running shoes, bring sports socks.

Measure your feet

Your feet will likely change over the years, so measure both of your feet each time you buy shoes to make sure you’re wearing the right size shoes.

In addition to measuring your feet, consider shoe shopping in the afternoon or evening. Feet naturally swell as the day goes on, so trying on shoes when your feet are at their biggest will ensure a good fit.

Consider shoe inserts

Some types of shoes don’t come with a lot of support. Boots and casual sneakers can have flat footbeds that don’t provide enough arch support, but that doesn’t mean you can’t wear them.

Shoe inserts can make an average pair of shoes very comfortable. Putting inserts in your shoes can give your feet the support they need and can help alleviate foot pain.

Don’t do these things when buying shoes

If they’re tight, they aren’t right

Just because a pair of shoes is the size you normally wear, that doesn’t mean they’ll fit your feet. If a pair of shoes squeeze your feet or your toes, don’t buy them. Shoes with narrow, pointed toes can increase your risk of developing bunions , hammer toe , and other painful foot conditions.

Style minus comfort equals disaster

Shoes should be comfortable and supportive above all else. For women in particular, shoes that are stylish often don’t have the support they should. High heels shift your body weight onto the balls of your feet and are notorious for causing foot problems.

If you must wear high heels, find shoes with large block heels and toe boxes that are wide enough for your feet. Larger heels will provide more stability, and wider toe boxes will allow your toes to spread out.

Don’t buy shoes that need “breaking in”

A new pair of shoes should be comfortable from the start. If shoes are stiff and uncomfortable when you try them on, they’re likely not right for your feet. Breaking in shoes can be painful and lead to blisters and other problems.

Whether you want to prevent foot problems in the future or you need help finding shoes that will relieve existing foot pain, Dr. Glover can help. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Mountain View Foot & Ankle Institute today.

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Wearing heels while pregnant may not be the safest choice for moms-to-be. It’s not the heels themselves that are unsafe: As your pregnancy progresses, your center of gravity shifts and your ligaments loosen, and those factors – combined with towering high heels – can create a fall risk. (Pregnant people are at higher risk for falls in general, and heels may add to that risk.) In addition to possible bumps, bruises, and broken bones for you, falling while pregnant puts you at risk for trauma to your abdomen, which can be dangerous for your baby.

Pregnancy itself can already be uncomfortable, and in many cases, those beautiful-but-super-high shoes might make it worse. For some people, high heels are comfortable and they continue to feel balanced in pregnancy. However, for many, they may not feel like the best option. You know yourself best, but if you’re not sure about wearing heels, it might be better to stick to other shoe options for pregnancy in the last couple months before you give birth.

Consider the situation: If you have a lot of walking or walking on irregular ground to do, then heels may not be comfortable and are potentially not safe. If you’re going out for dinner for a couple of hours, then they may feel okay. Comfort in pregnancy can be trial and error.

And even if your favorite pair of stilettos for work or a long night out may no longer be your preferred footwear of choice during pregnancy, you can still focus on maternity style and fashion in other ways, such as grabbing that cute new maternity dress you’ve been eyeing.

Why wearing heels while pregnant can be uncomfortable

There are a variety of reasons why wearing high heels during pregnancy can be uncomfortable, and might potentially increase your chance of falling:

A changing center of gravity. If you feel a little wobblier as your belly grows, you’re on to something. Your center of gravity changes to account for the fact that you’re carrying a baby up to the size of a watermelon right in front of you, putting things a little more off-kilter and making pregnancy clumsiness a real thing. That, combined with some damp concrete and high heels, can be sticky.

One study found that 25 percent of pregnant women experienced a fall at least once in their pregnancy. If flats aren’t your favorite, steady shoes with a lower and wider heel might keep you more stable on your feet and increase your safety throughout pregnancy.

Loose ligaments in your feet. Blame good old relaxin, a hormone in pregnancy that does just what you think it might – helps ligaments relax. While this has a helpful effect on the uterus and surrounding ligaments so your baby can, you know, be birthed, it has some more challenging effects elsewhere.

The ligaments in your feet will be looser, leading to joint instability and muscle strain. This means your feet might hurt more, and they may not help you balance in high heels like they used to.

You may find your feet are bigger post-pregnancy, and that you need a larger shoe size, and that’s because the relaxin causes the bones in your feet to spread. (Your feet aren’t actually growing; the ligaments are just looser than they were before).

Increased pelvic, back, and hip discomfort. Even on your best pre-pregnancy days, you may have noticed that your hips, pelvis, back, and legs are sorer after wearing heels. Pregnancy amplifies these back aches and round ligament pains by impacting your body’s natural alignment, which may mean you’re arching your back more than you usually do.

To help stop your back from arching uncomfortably, opt for shoes that are more supportive through the foot arch, give you some additional padding when your heel and the ball of your foot strike the ground, and don’t cause additional discomfort in the rest of your body.

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Sources

BabyCenter’s editorial team is committed to providing the most helpful and trustworthy pregnancy and parenting information in the world. When creating and updating content, we rely on credible sources: respected health organizations, professional groups of doctors and other experts, and published studies in peer-reviewed journals. We believe you should always know the source of the information you’re seeing. Learn more about our editorial and medical review policies.