I'm a podiatrist – my 5 high heel hacks will put an end to your agony | The Sun

OUR feet do a lot for us, whether we’re running for the bus, taking the stairs or waiting in line at the post office.

But we don’t always treat them with the love and care they deserve – and that’s especially the case when it comes to wearing heels.

They might look great, and are an absolute staple come party season, but donning super high heels can wreak havoc on our feet and ankles.

From blisters and sprains, pain and even weakened ankles, wearing heels that lack support can put your foot health at risk. 

So how do you go about protecting your feet when wearing heels?

NEXT have partnered with Emma McConnachie, a podiatrist at The Royal College of Podiatry, to reveal her top tips for looking after your feet, and preventing pain from stilettos… 

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Spiky stilettos and sky high heels might give you some extra inches and look incredible, but they could be doing untold damage to your feet. 

“Long-term we podiatrists would recommend not wearing a heel higher than 2cm as a higher heel can cause problems for your feet,” says Emma.

“Avoid thin, stiletto type heels as this increases instability and your foot will wobble about more.”

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She’s not saying you can’t wear heels at all, just go for ones that support your feet as much as possible.. 

Emma recommends: “If you are wearing a heel, aim for a block or wedge style and ideally one that has a way of staying on your foot such as a strap around the ankle or across the middle of the foot.”


A night out tottering in uncomfortable heels and you’re bound to feel the effects the next day. 

Blisters, achy ball joints, squashed toes – none of the aftermath is pleasant. 

Emma says: “The usual types of pain we see after wearing high heels is in the forefoot or from blisters.

“If you find the ball of your foot painful after wearing your heels, switch to a pair of thicker soled shoes with a lower heel height for the rest of your day.”

Then to soothe your poor feet, treat them to a restorative, salty bath. 

Emma says: “You could try soaking your feet in warm water for ten-15 minutes to help soothe them too.

"Adding in some Epson salts can also help.”


Comfort is key if you want your feet to be fully happy, so make sure to dig out your most supportive pair of heels.

“If you are picking a pair of shoes for an event, try to choose a pair that you know you can wear for long periods of time and choose the outfit based on that,” recommends Emma.

“This helps avoid being barefoot half-way through your party or the dreaded barefoot walk to the taxi rank that results in many an emergency podiatry visit the next day!"


It’s always best to avoid ending up in poor footwear-related agony in the first place.

So when it comes to deciding on style, really think through what you’ll be putting the shoes through, and what your soles need from them.

Emma says: “Trying to prevent pain when wearing heels will come down to the style you choose and what is right for your foot type and activities. 

“Avoid shoes that have thin soles at the front as these will increase the pressure on your forefoot. 

“Look for ones which have some cushioning in the sole.”

For long-term comfort, she says: “A low block or wedge heel will be more comfortable to wear for a longer period of time too as the higher the heel, the more pressure you are putting on your forefoot.”


Getting glammed up but know it’s going to be freezing out? 

Don’t let your toes take the brunt of the cold weather.

Emma says: “It is best to avoid exposing your feet to the elements in colder weather.

“We see countless cases of chilblains in winter where feet haven’t been kept warm.”

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She adds: “Placing increased pressure on the ball of your foot by wearing thin soled, heeled shoes can result in painful soft tissue bruising on the balls of your feet too which is far worse when they are cold.”

Next footwear containing their Forever Comfort padding, ultra-soft feel cushioning and dual layer foam padding under foot is available to shop at NEXT.

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