One thing you should get from this article is that, not all heels are created equal. So if you’re wondering how to make high heels more comfortable for you, first consider this: The height of your heel not the shape of the shoe or the fact that it’s a heel is what’s likely behind your pain.

According to research, most high heel-related pain can be traced back to sky-high shoes. This is because a heel above two inches or so puts tremendous pressure on the metatarsals, which are the bones behind the toes.

And that pressure isn’t just uncomfortable, it can lead to inflammation, pain, stress fractures, or even pinched nerves.

As scary as all these may sound, you don’t necessarily need to let go of your high heels altogether. It’s possible to make high heels more comfortable. Just pay attention to how much lift you’re getting.

If you want to strike a balance, two inches heel is ideal. A heel below that height does not add significant stress to the metatarsals as the weight can remain distributed between the heel and forefoot. This also helps you stay balanced in your kicks.

And if your feet hurt even when you’re not as high off the ground? Consider adding a pad to the forefoot of your heels or sticking a full insole inside your favorite pair. Try to take high heels off when you can too.

To fend off the nastiest of new-shoe disasters like blisters, look for a low-heeled shoe with an ankle strap. A strap not only secures your foot, improving stability, but it reduces the friction that can tear your skin.

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