what type of heels are easiest to walk in do you get used to heels eventually

Do you get used to heels? Here’s how to do it!

If you are not used to wearing heels frequently or at least once or twice per week, it can feel intimidating or unnatural to start incorporating them more often into your wardrobe and your lifestyle. There are some things that you need to know before you start adopting heels more often in your outfits and I want to share what has worked for me.

Getting used to high heels involves two things; a comfortable fit and learning how to walk correctly. Provided you have no chronic foot issues, you can get used to high heeled shoes as long as your feet are not strained in them. By first mitigating pain, you can then focus on learning how to walk correctly in them.

Hopefully this gives you some hope even if you are not used to wearing heels at all. The number one rule is not to rush it and keep practising step by step by increasing the heel height and reducing the heel thickness gradually. This allows you to find your centre of gravity which will make it so much easier when wearing thinner heels. There are also specific types of heels that are easier to walk in than others and can help to maximise your efforts.

How long does it take to get used to wearing heels?

This is highly dependent on each person and which heels they are trying to get used to. However, you should generally give yourself 3-5 days to allow your body to get used to its new center of gravity and allow the shoe to mould slightly to your feet. This will also give you enough time to practice walking in them.

Therefore, if you’re not used to wearing heels at all and you want to take a more gradual approach by wearing low wide heels at the beginning and working your way up, try to give yourself at least 3-4 weeks before you move up to 4 inch heels that are thinner. This will allow your body to get used to one thing at a time so that you can build up your ability and your confidence in wearing and walking in heels. 

how long does it take to get used to wearing heels walking in heels

Once you have gotten used to wearing high heels, remember that it can still take a little while to get used to a new pair of heels even for seasoned heel wearers. This is because not all heels are made the same and how a heel is made, affects how easy or difficult it is to walk in. Once you know what type of heeled shoe suits you best, it becomes sooo much easier to shop for and invest in the right ones.

What type of heels are easiest to walk in?

Aside from block heels and wedges, which are much easier to walk in than high heels for a majority of women, there are a number of design features that can make high heels easier or more difficult to walk in. 

There are four elements that make high heels easy to walk in, they are; balance, weight distribution, comfort and grip. There are specific design features that affect these four elements of heel wearing but it is still crucial for each person to test which features are easiest for them to wear and walk in.

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Heels that are placed right at the back edge of the shoe tend to push all of your weight onto the ball of your foot, so instead try to wear heels that are placed under the center of your heel as this will help to distribute the weight more evenly. 

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Close-toed shoes can provide better support than open-toe but make sure that there is enough space for your toes and the lip of the leather does not press into your knuckles as this is a high friction area. Use silicone pads if necessary.

what type of heels are easiest to walk in do you get used to heels weight distribution

Ensure there are no gaps between the arches of your feet and the shoe bed. Instead you can use insoles in these areas or have them stitched directly into your shoe so that your weight is distributed throughout your whole foot.

what type of heels are easiest to walk in do you get used to heels grip

Slide on and slip in heels are quite fatiguing for the foot because you have to hold onto them by the toes. Ankle straps secure the shoe to your foot without the need to hold on so your feet will not tire as easily.

How to get used to walking in high heels

  1. Know what style shoe suits you best not just in terms of style but in design. 
  2. Buy high-quality, well made shoes that are a good fit especially if you expect to wear them for long periods.
  3. If you’re not used to wearing heels at all then work your way up in heel size and heel width to practice muscle strength and balance first.
  4. Test the heels first by wearing a thin pair of socks or tights with them and walk around for 5 minutes. This will indicate if there are any pressure points or high friction areas that need to be addressed. 
  5. Mitigate pain by using insoles to improve weight distribution and padding to protect high friction areas. 
  6. Practice wearing them around the house first and then start wearing them in places where you’ll have a limited time period of standing.
  7. Take up hobbies that will improve your heel wearing ability, these include activities that improve balance and coordination like yoga, ballet and Latin dancing.

    how to get used to wearing and walking in heels yoga balance practice

  8. If you have a treadmill at home you can practice walking slowly on it and gradually increase the speed.
  9. Don’t try to wear heels everyday, give your feet a break in flat shoes and let them adjust to your heels gradually.
  10. If you feel forced to take tiny steps and to hit the ground with your toes and heel at the same time then you are wearing a heel that is too high for you. You should practice in a smaller heel first and once you feel confident you can move back up to a higher heel.
  11. Practise your walk at home by taking regular size strides and hitting the ground with your heel first and only a slight bend in the knee. Remember to take your eyes off the ground, look forward and keep your posture straight.

In the end, it’s important to wear heels that you feel confident in – your overall look will be more polished and put together if you wear small chunky heel boots that you can be yourself in rather than 4″ pumps that you can’t walk in yet.

Related: How to wear heels casually

How can I wear heels without pain

Any prolonged wear of heels whether they are broken in or not will cause some level of discomfort. It is possible to mitigate the more immediate types of pain that are associated with wearing high heels by using a variety of products. However, buying the right shoes in the first place can go a long way to helping avoid unnecessary pain especially when teamed with products to further alleviate it.

Shoe fit, design and material play an important role in how painful heels can be. Well-designed shoes work to distribute your weight more evenly and avoid friction in sensitive areas. Shoes made with real leather soften and mould to the shape of your feet over time as opposed to synthetic or faux leather which do not.

Heels that fit well make a huge difference if you plan to wear them for long periods of time but certain things can also help to further reduce pain. Below is a list of products and a description of what they do but it’s important to remember that no matter how many products you use, if your shoes do not actually fit your feet to begin with then there is no point in trying to prevent pain.

Pain-preventing products

what type of heels are easiest to walk wear heels without pain ball cushions

Ball of Foot Cushions: Place these gel pads under the ball of your foot to improve shock absorption and aid in pain relief. There are multiple different types you can buy depending on how you want them to sit and you can use double sided fashion tape if the adhesive isn’t strong enough.

what type of heels are easiest to walk wear heels without pain first aid tape your toes

First Aid Tape:  works by taping your third and fourth toes together before putting on heels. This is supposed to relieve some of the pressure on the nerve between those two toes that causes most of the pain.

what type of heels are easiest to walk wear heels without pain gel heel liners

Gel Heel Liners: If the back of your shoe rubs against your heel/ankle a lot and you want to avoid blisters, try some gel heel liners. They can also provide more grip and prevent your foot from slipping too much out of your shoe when you step forward.

High Heel Insole Inserts: Placing this insole into the shoe starting from the heel. It adds cushioning to your heel and can assist your foot by supporting the inner arch and improving the weight distribution.

what type of heels are easiest to walk wear heels without pain arch support inserts

Arch inserts: If you have a very high arched foot, some people find having a dedicated arch insert can give them the support they need. If you’re wearing an open toe sandal it’s possible to ask a shoe cobbler to place the arch support under the insole so that it’s built into the shoe.

Toe Guard: These are like silicone socks that protect individual toes from too much friction or pressure by allowing them some breathing room. They’re more for closed-toe shoes however.

what type of heels are easiest to walk wear heels without pain bunion cushions bunion protectors

Bunion Protector: If your shoe irritates the outside or inside of your foot at the knuckle try some bunion protectors to give them some cushioning and prevent blisters.

what type of heels are easiest to walk wear heels without pain bunion body glide anti chafe balm

Body glide: Reduces friction on skin and makes it much easier to slip your shoes on and off. I would be careful using this with more valuable shoes however in case it leaves a residue. But it’s useful for putting in between toes to prevent chafing when wearing open toe sandals.

what type of heels are easiest to walk wear heels without pain emergency foldable flats

Foldable flats: There’s always a bit of relief knowing that you’re not stuck in a pair of shoes that are hurting you the whole day. Always, have a pair of flats that can easily fit into your purse because they can come in handy if there’s an emergency heel snap as well.

Foldable flats: There’s always a bit of relief knowing that you’re not stuck in a pair of shoes that are hurting you the whole day. Always, have a pair of flats that can easily fit into your purse because they can come in handy if there’s an emergency heel snap as well.

How long does it take to break heels in?

Not all heels have the same break in period and there are many factors that contribute to the amount of time it can take. These factors include the style of the shoe, material of the inner sole and the outer structure and how you like your heels to fit but typically it can be between 3 and 4 weeks with regular wear.

If you decide to purchase real leather heels, breaking them in properly can really reduce discomfort and make them easier to walk in. The reason shoes are traditionally made of leather is because it’s a wonderful material for progressively fitting a person perfectly. It’s important not to confuse “breaking in” with suffering poor fitting or badly made shoes. Neither of those problems can be fixed no matter how much you try to break them in.

how long does it take to break heels in do you get used to heels

How to break in heels

Here are some quick tips on what to do and not to do when breaking in heels. 

Do…

  • Buy good-quality heels and ask the store clerk to help you find the perfect fit.
  • Wear thin socks at first with padding in high friction areas to allow the heat of your foot to penetrate to the leather
  • Wear for short time intervals of 30 mins to an hour a few times per day at home for 2 to 3 days.
  • Increase the thickness of your socks and remove padding if possible.
  • Increase the time interval and wear the heels for two or three hours to allow the leather to warm up through the thicker socks.
  • Remove socks and pad any spots you know will rub when you start to wear your heels in public. Carry band aids just in case.
  • Pack some foldable flats in your bag, just in case you need an emergency change.
  • Continue to break them in at home if they are still too stiff to wear in public.

Don’t…

  • Immediately wear them on a long trip – short walks are best to start with.
  • Continue to wear them if it hurts – little by little is the key.
  • Put your heels under a hairdryer or the freezer – you might have heard the advice to warm up the leather, or cool it down, but don’t do it! With fine shoes you want to do everything gentle.
  • Get your heels wet, again this could irrevocably damage your beautiful shoes!
  • Give up! If they are reluctant to mould, use a shoe stretcher to give a more prolonged stretch between wear.

Whether you’re just starting to wear more heels, or you’re looking for ways to make them more comfortable then I hope you have found this helpful. I would love to hear what works for you and see how you use the tips to wear your heels more frequently so don’t forget to tag me on InstagramTiktok or Pinterest or send me a message because I would love to see! 

About the author 

Mish has a Masters in Fine Art and she’s passionate about classical design, history and culture. She loves to analyze fashion and style through this lens to help people develop authentic personal style.