Crystalized, embellished, and bejeweled pumps and sandals are festive musts when it comes to the holiday season and, with so many fun stilettos abound, who can resist showing them off at your next party? Not us! Before you deck the halls, follow these tips to prep your feet and pumps to bolster your high-heel wearing endurance.
Before you send in your RSVP…
Break in your high heels. The number one rule when it comes to wearing heels: do not try to don your glitzy heels straight out of the box. Instead, wear them around your house at night at least a week before your party: walking up and down stairs, while cooking dinner and brushing your teeth. Even better, slip on your high heels as you unwind with a glass of Pinot Grigio. Alcohol in general causes your feet to swell and, if you plan on sipping some Champagne at your party, you’ll want to know early on of potential trouble spots.
Practice around the neighborhood. Once you’ve adjusted to wearing your pumps around the house, it’s time to venture outside. Our go-to place for walking in heels is the grocery store. Using your shopping cart as a crutch, practice walking on a slick surface and through the parking lot back to the car. Pointers to remember as you step heel-toe, heel-toe: keep your posture erect; shorten your stride; point your toes forward, not outward, and slow down.
Get a pedicure. Even if your shoes are closed-toe booties and don’t require a polished pedicure, visit your nail salon and have them clip your nails and exfoliate your heels. Buffing your feet will help keep straps or heels from uncomfortably rubbing against your skin.
As you mix and mingle…
Stand in third position. While you’re standing socializing, give your hips and knees a rest by standing in a ballerina’s modified third position. With feet a little less than shoulder-width apart, angle the heel of one foot into the arch of the other foot and distribute your weight to the back leg.
Take breaks every 20 minutes. Whenever you can, steal a moment to sit down whether or not your feet are tired. Alleviate the balls of your feet (which take the brunt of your weight) by resting on your heels. Tip up your toes off the ground so only the stiletto is grounded.
Keep your heels on. As the night wears on and everyone else has kicked off their heels, keep your shoes on. By the end of the night, your feet will inevitably swell and this may cause irritation. Slipping out of your pumps may be tempting but the relief will be short-lived and, when your feet re-adjust to being flat instead of pitched in a heel, it will be doubly uncomfortable to put your shoe back on.
After you’ve bid your farewells…
Elevate your feet. As soon as you hit the couch after your night of festivities, prop your feet up on a pillow to combat swelling. Treat yourself to an impromptu massage by rolling your foot over a tennis ball or frozen water bottle on the floor.
Wear flats. Even if you don’t feel affected from the night in those heightened heels, spend the next day in comfy flats. Wearing high heels for prolonged periods of time will actually shorten your Achilles tendon, making wearing flats or low heels uncomfortable. To prevent this, alternate your days in high heels and walking shoes.