Heels have long been a staple in fashion, adding elegance, confidence, and a touch of sophistication to any outfit. However, finding comfortable heels can be a daunting task. The discomfort and pain associated with ill-fitting footwear often discourage women from wearing heels altogether.
In this guide, we will explore the key factors to consider when choosing comfortable heels, ensuring you can strut your stuff with confidence and ease.
1. The Right Fit Matters
The most crucial factor in choosing comfortable heels is finding the right fit. Ill-fitting heels can lead to a myriad of problems, including blisters, calluses, and even long-term foot issues. To ensure a proper fit:
a. Measure Your Feet Regularly
Feet can change size over time due to factors like pregnancy, weight gain, or aging. It’s essential to measure both the length and width of your feet regularly.
b. Pay Attention to Arch Support
Look for heels that offer adequate arch support. This helps distribute your weight more evenly, reducing strain on the balls of your feet.
c. Avoid Shoes that Pinch or Squeeze
Your toes should have ample room to move without feeling cramped. Opt for styles with a wider toe box to prevent discomfort.
2. Heel Height and Platform
a. Opt for a Lower Heel
Lower heels are generally more comfortable for extended wear. A two to three-inch heel can provide a good balance between style and comfort.
b. Consider a Platform Sole
Platform soles can offset the height of the heel, making it feel lower than it is. This design minimizes the angle of your foot, reducing pressure on the balls and arches.
3. Material Matters
The material of your heels can significantly impact comfort and durability. Consider the following options:
Genuine leather is not only durable but also moulds to the shape of your foot over time, providing a custom fit.
Suede is softer and more flexible compared to leather, offering a comfortable option for those seeking flexibility.
c. Fabric or Mesh
These materials can be more forgiving and breathable, allowing for better air circulation around your feet.
4. Cushioning and Padding
a. Insole Padding
Look for heels with cushioned insoles that provide extra support and comfort. Gel or memory foam inserts can also be added for additional cushioning.
b. Cushioned Heel Beds
A padded heel bed can reduce the impact on your feet, especially when walking on hard surfaces.
5. Strap Styles for Stability
Straps not only add style to your heels but also provide crucial stability. Consider the following strap options:
a. Ankle Straps
Ankle straps can help secure your foot in place, preventing it from slipping forward and causing discomfort.
T-straps offer an elegant and secure fit, distributing pressure more evenly across your foot.
6. Toe Shape
The shape of the toe box can greatly influence comfort. Consider your foot shape and any specific comfort needs:
a. Round Toe
Round-toe heels provide more room for your toes to spread out, reducing pressure and discomfort.
b. Almond Toe
The almond-shaped toe is a versatile option, providing a bit more space than a pointed toe without sacrificing style.
7. Test Walk Before You Buy
Always try on heels and take a few test steps in the store. Pay attention to how they feel, especially in the toe box and arch area. If they pinch, squeeze, or feel unsteady, they’re likely not the right fit.
The Best Heels To Wear
The best heels to wear depend on your style, comfort preferences, and the occasion. Here are some of the most versatile and comfortable options for various occasions:
1. Classic Pumps
- Description: Classic pumps are a timeless choice for a wide range of occasions. They have a closed-toe design, a medium to high heel, and a simple silhouette.
- Best for: Office wear, formal events, cocktail parties, and special occasions.
- Comfort Features: Look for padded insoles, arch support, and a stable heel height for all-day comfort.
2. Block Heels
- Description: Block heels have a wider, squared-off heel that provides more stability and comfort than stilettos. They come in various heights and styles.
- Best for: Work, casual outings, and events where you’ll be on your feet for extended periods.
- Comfort Features: The wider base of block heels distributes weight more evenly, reducing pressure on the balls of your feet.
3. Wedge Heels
- Description: Wedge heels have a solid sole that extends from the heel to the toe, providing better arch support and stability. They are versatile and come in various designs.
- Best for: Casual outings, beach parties, and summer events.
- Comfort Features: The gradual incline of the wedge provides a more natural angle for your foot, making it more comfortable for extended wear.
4. Kitten Heels
- Description: Kitten heels have a short and slender heel, typically around 1-2 inches in height. They offer a touch of elegance without sacrificing comfort.
- Best for: Work, semi-formal events, and occasions where you want a more refined look without the discomfort of higher heels.
- Comfort Features: Kitten heels provide a lower heel height, reducing strain on your feet.
5. Platform Heels
- Description: Platform heels have a thick sole under the ball of the foot, which can offset the height of the heel and make them more comfortable to walk in.
- Best for: Parties, clubbing, and events where you want extra height without the discomfort of high stilettos.
- Comfort Features: Platforms provide additional cushioning and reduce the steepness of the arch, making them more comfortable for extended wear.
6. Ankle Boots with Chunky Heels
- Description: Ankle boots with chunky heels combine style with stability. They offer a trendy and comfortable option for colder seasons.
- Best for: Fall and winter, casual outings, and nights out.
- Comfort Features: The chunky heel provides stability, and ankle boots offer extra support around the ankle.
7. Espadrille Wedges
- Description: Espadrille wedges have a jute or rope sole, which not only adds a casual flair but also provides a comfortable platform for your feet.
- Best for: Summer outings, beach vacations, and casual events.
- Comfort Features: The natural materials and wedge design offer a comfortable and breathable option for warm weather.
8. Slingback Heels
- Description: Slingback heels have a strap that wraps around the back of the ankle, providing additional support and preventing your foot from slipping forward.
- Best for: Work, formal events, and occasions where you want a polished look.
- Comfort Features: The slingback strap keeps your foot secure, reducing pressure on the front of the foot.
Remember, the best heels for you will also depend on your foot shape and any specific comfort needs. Always prioritize finding a pair that fits well and provides the support you need. Happy shoe shopping!
Where To Buy Comfortable Heels In Australia
In Australia, there are several reputable places where you can find a wide range of comfortable heels. Whether you’re looking for designer options, sustainable choices, or budget-friendly alternatives, these stores and online platforms have got you covered:
1. The Iconic
The Iconic is a popular online fashion retailer in Australia that offers a diverse selection of footwear, including comfortable heels. They feature a range of brands and styles, making it easy to find something that suits your taste and comfort preferences.
2. David Jones
David Jones is a well-known Australian department store that carries a variety of high-quality brands, including designer options. They have a wide selection of heels, and you’re likely to find comfortable options among their offerings.
Ziera is a New Zealand-based footwear brand known for its commitment to comfort and style. They offer a range of heels designed with features like arch support and cushioning to provide maximum comfort.
Wittner is an Australian shoe brand known for its fashionable yet comfortable footwear. They have a wide range of heels, and their products are often praised for their quality and comfort.
5. Bared Footwear
Bared Footwear focuses on combining style with comfort and foot health. They offer a range of heels with features like arch support, cushioning, and a wide toe box to ensure comfort without compromising on style.
Sandler is an Australian brand that has been providing comfortable and stylish footwear for women for many years. They offer a variety of heel styles with features like extra padding and supportive insoles.
7. Hush Puppies
Hush Puppies is a globally recognized brand known for its comfortable and casual footwear. They offer a range of heels that prioritize comfort without sacrificing style.
While Birkenstock is renowned for its sandals, it also offers closed-toe options, including comfortable heels. Known for their footbed technology, Birkenstock’s heels provide excellent support and comfort.
ASOS is a global online fashion retailer with a wide range of brands and styles. They offer a variety of heels, including those known for comfort, at different price points.
10. Amazon Australia
Amazon’s Australian site provides access to a vast selection of products, including a wide range of comfortable heels from various brands and sellers.
Remember to check each retailer’s shipping policies, return options, and size guides to ensure a smooth shopping experience. Additionally, always read product descriptions and customer reviews to get a sense of the comfort level of the heels you’re interested in. Happy shoe shopping! Find more of them at comfortable heels australia.
Finding comfortable heels doesn’t mean sacrificing style. By prioritizing the right fit, heel height, materials, cushioning, and strap styles, you can confidently stride through life without the discomfort that often accompanies ill-fitting footwear. Remember, your comfort should always be a priority when choosing heels. Happy walking!