You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who wouldn’t agree that a sleek pair of high heels looks downright incredible. However, it’s more difficult to find unanimous agreement that all heels feel amazing. Anyone who has ever tried tottering around in a pair of stilettos for a few hours and then had to spend the next day soaking their aching feet in a warm salt bath can attest to the discomfort of this style.
It’s a discomfort that isn’t necessary — not once you’ve found the right heel height for your suited to your body and your lifestyle. Read on to find out which heels are best suited for your tender tootsies.
Know Your Foot Type
This is one of the best ways to suss out your ideal heel height. Short of going to see a podiatrist, you can determine this by wetting your feet, and stepping onto a piece of construction paper.
If the imprint shows your heel, the ball of your foot and your big toe in equal measure, then you have a neutral foot.
If you see the whole imprint of your foot on the ground (or most of it), then you likely have flat feet (or low arch).
If you only see a bit of your heel and then the ball of your foot on the paper, then you have a high arch.
Finally, if the imprint looks like a C, then you have a supinated foot (i.e. you place most of your weight on the outside of your foot).
Heel Height for Neutral Foot
You can get away with wearing just about any heel height you’d like without detriment to your feet. However, this doesn’t mean you’ll want to wear any heel height. For instance, if you have a very active lifestyle, wearing heels may not be practical, and may in fact be dangerous. The more time you spend in high heels, the more harmful they are to the health of your feet, legs and whole body. High heels can cause problems with your ankles, Achilles tendon, calves and even lower back. So save the stilletos for special occasions, and keep your everyday heel a little lower.
These heels from Senso are perfect for high arches.
If you have a high arch, heels are going to be hard for you. Moreover, they can be unsafe, since your foot has no leverage point. This can lead to pain and even injury. Fear not, though: you don’t have to forsake heels altogether. Simply wear shoes with a thicker and lower heel, the combination of both will offer more support.
Good news: flat feet love a heel! In fact, due to the fallen nature of your arches, heels are often more comfortable to walk around in than flat shoes. Of course, you don’t have to do with a towering heel if you don’t want to (but you can!) — a contrite, kitten heel can also add grace and comfort to your gait.
You have a foot type that can benefit from a stable, quality heel. A low heel (a couple of inches) is best. Shoes with a firm heel and structure are best, since anything flimsy will allow your foot to fall inward too easily. The last thing you want in a super high heel is to roll your ankle, especially given your foot is already prone to collapsing.
Again, take into your account your lifestyle and personal style preference when selecting your heel height, but most importantly, account for your foot type. This will be the deciding factor in choosing the best heel height for your feet.