The Best Ways to Break in Heels

Break your new heels in the right way and they will feel as good as they look.
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High-heeled shoes often look amazing but feel awful. To ease the discomfort of new heels, break them in at home before wearing them out and about. At home, you can sit down frequently and give your feet a rest when needed without having to endure a long, painful day of blisters and sore spots. It may take several sessions to break your heels in and make them comfortable; but it will be well worth the effort when you can go out dancing without rushing home to soak your tired feet.

Stand in the shoes for a few minutes with your eyes shut and get a feel for where your body is and how it feels before walking in your shoes. High heels shift your weight, so take a minute to regain your balance and learn how to center your body in your new shoes.

Scratch the bottom of your shoes with sandpaper or place an adhesive grip pad on the sole. Scuffing up the smooth bottoms of your shoes will help prevent you from slipping on smooth surfaces.

Slip on a pair of thick socks and wear them with your heels while you putter around the house for awhile. This will stretch the heels out a bit and make them more comfortable.

Remove your socks, put the shoes back on and walk around some more. This time, take note of any places where the shoes pinch or rub your feet.

Take the shoes off and place the rub strips in them where needed to cushion any of the problem areas you noticed. Rub strips are adhesive and can be cut to size to fit anywhere you need them. Ball-of-foot cushions are also available and make heels much more comfortable. Wear your shoes around the house a bit longer to make sure you have the padding exactly where you need it and adjust as necessary.

Continue wearing your shoes at home every few days until you are comfortable in them for several hours at a time. When they feel good even after a few hours of wear, it's time to take them out and show them off.

  • As an alternative method, fill two bags with water and slip one in each shoe. Put the shoes in the freezer; when the water freezes, the bags will expand and slightly stretch the shoes.

Writing professionally since 2008, Michelle Miley specializes in home and garden topics but frequently pens career, style and marketing pieces. Her essays have been used on college entrance exams and she has more than 4,000 publishing credits. She holds an Associate of Applied Science in accounting, having graduated summa cum laude.