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How to Make High Heels Comfortable - Insoles, Pads, Stretchers for shoes

Updated on October 3, 2012

High Heels Hurting your Feet?

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, finding a comfortable high heel shoe that gives you a perfect fit can be difficult.

The shoes may feel wonderful when you try them on, but after wearing them for a few hours you realize the shoes really don't fit too well -- slipping in the heel, pinched toes, foot pain, and general discomfort are good indicators that the shoes don't fit.

If your feet hurt while wearing high heel shoes, it may be caused by the shoe or a foot condition. Either way, there are products that can improve the fit and feel of a high heel shoe.

Inserts, Insoles, Petals, and Pads for High Heels

There are a few different products available that are specially made for enhancing the fit of a high heel shoe.

Most of these products are permanently affixed on to the inside of the shoe;

  • Heel Pads or Cushions - applied to the inner heel of the shoe helps keep your heels from sliding out of the shoe.
  • Insole Cushions - a cushioned insole that covers a majority of the insole.
  • Ball of the Foot Pads - help keep the foot from sliding forward; also provides cushioning at ball of the foot. These pads are often called metatarsal pads and can help alleviate pain associated with Morton's Neuroma.

Heel Pads for High Heel Shoes

Heel pads, or cushions that are permanently placed on the inside of the heel of the shoe are a wonderful option for heel slippage problems. Not only do they help stop the shoe from slipping while you walk, they also help prevent blisters.

Heel cushions are also helpful for fitting into shoes that are too big. For shoes that are just a bit too loose, cushions on the heels help keep the foot in place while you walk.

Heel pads for high heels
Heel pads for high heels

A Selection of Heel Pads and Heel Cushions

Insoles for High Heels - Keep your Feet Comfortable

Insole cushions for high heels are usually permanently affixed onto the insole of the shoe.

They are made of various soft and comfortable materials like foam or gel.

Using an added insole in your high heel shoes helps absorb shock which reduces stress on the knees, legs, and feet. Cloth covered insoles are also great for absorbing excess moisture so your feet stay cool and comfortable.


Metatarsal Pads - cushioned insoles for the ball of the foot.
Metatarsal Pads - cushioned insoles for the ball of the foot.

Cushions and Pads for the Ball of the Foot

If you have foot pain at the ball-of-the-foot, pads or cushions for this area of the foot (metatarsal cushions) can be extremely helpful in providing comfort. Especially for those who suffer from the burning pain of a Morton's Neuroma.

Metatarsal shoe inserts are small round shaped pads that are placed inside the shoe. They are usually made of soft padded foam or a gel-type material.

Shoe Stretchers - How to Stretch High Heel Shoes

If your high heel shoes are just a tad too tight, you might have some luck using a shoe-stretcher or a lotion that helps stretch the leather of the shoe.

Shoe repair stores and shoe cobblers also offer this service.

Making High Heels Comfortable

With some modification, high heel shoes can be made more comfortable. Various insoles, inserts, and heel pads can keep you walking comfortably in your high heel shoes.

But remember... when choosing high heels, the proper size and width should be the first step for comfort.

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