How to survive the season of the high heel
The Summer wedding season is well and truly in full flow, with June, August and September the most popular months of the year to tie the knot. Whether you’re a bride to be, a bridesmaid or a guest at a wedding, it’s the perfect excuse to treat yourself to a fabulous new pair of heels for the occasion.
Choosing a pair of beautiful bridal or occasion shoes can be tricky, and no matter how pretty they are, there’s always the daunting prospect that you’ll spend several hours of the day in absolute agony before admitting defeat and settling for bare feet or flip flips on the dancefloor by the end of the evening!
If you’re planning to wear brand new high heels on the big day or to wear high heels for the first time in months, it’s a good idea to plan ahead and take a boot camp approach to preparing your feet in the run up to the big day.
Andy Horwood, podiatry advisor for NINE TO FIVE Heels, shares his top tips to ensure you’re walking tall in comfort throughout the day (and without a flip flop in sight…!)
- Choose shoes that fit perfectly and ensure that they aren’t too tight. Shop for new shoes during the afternoon if possible, as your feet swell throughout the day. If they feel a tiny bit too big, heel grips are a real lifesaver. Choose your shoe style wisely – shoes with pointed toes can really pinch so go for a wider toe style for optimum comfort.
- Shoes feel too small? Just pop on a pair of thick socks, slip on your shoes and blast them with a hair dryer to soften the fabric and stretch the shoes.
- Use an insole that has been designed to provide all day relief – NINE TO FIVE Heels gently support the contours of the foot and re-distribute the pressure. The gel insoles shift the centre of mass away from the ball of the foot and pull your bodyweight towards the back of the heel to allow a more even distribution of weight. Compact enough to slip into a clutch bag, the insoles can be washed in soap and water after each use to restore freshness and are infused with peppermint oil for all day freshness (no matter how hot and sticky your feet become as the heat rises on the dance floor!)
- Practice wearing your wedding shoes in the run up to the big day – start by wearing them around the house for 15 minutes at a time and then build up to an hour each day until they feel comfortable. Wearing a pair of heels for the first time on your wedding day is just asking for disaster so make sure you wear them in.
- Practice makes perfect – heels force you to walk in a different way so don’t expect them to feel natural straight away. Focus on ensuring that your heel hits the ground first, straighten your legs fully with each stride and take smaller steps at first until you feel more confident.
- Perfect your posture – Practice yoga or pilates in the run up to the big day. Experts say that practising poses and developing your core muscles is the best way to ensure overall stability and as your posture improves, you’ll automatically look and feel slimmer.
- Worried about slipping all over the dancefloor? Pop on your heels and head outside to roughen the soles. Alternatively, scrub the soles underneath with sandpaper to offer more grip.
- Take a load off! Take every opportunity to sit down during the day, slip off your shoes and point and stretch your feet and calf muscles. If your feet feel tired, a refreshing foot spray is ideal for reviving your feet when temperatures rise. Try Boots Reviving Foot Spray for instant relief and to enjoy its mint, witch hazel and cypress aromas.
- Make time for a pedicure – invest time in your tootsies and you’ll reap the benefits all day long. Make a date with your feet each week and treat them to a scrub, a massage and then lashings of moisturiser before popping on a pair of cotton socks to allow the cream to soak in. For a quick and easy DIY pedicure, check out our tips here
- Prone to blisters? Petroleum jelly is your best form of defence against crippling blisters. Simply smother areas where you’re likely to experience rubbing for a friction-preventing layer. If you don’t have any jelly to hand, roll on deodorant works just as well and helps to keep your feet from sweating at the same time.
NINE TO FIVE Heels Insoles are long lasting, can be washed in soapy water to restore freshness and can be swapped between shoes. They’re perfectly sized to fit in your clutch bag too and fabulous for occasions including weddings and parties when you want to look and feel your absolute best.
Specifically developed for heel heights over 2” and available in hot pink, clear and black to suit individual tastes, NINE TO FIVE Heels are infused with a fresh peppermint essence and available in three sizes; small (3-4.5), medium (5-7.5) and large (8-10.5).
Offering metatarsal support to shift weight away from the ball of your foot, eliminating burning pain, the insoles are long lasting, designed to be durable and can be swapped between shoes.