Shapes

My adventures with insoles

I’ve always been in awe of those who wear killer heels all the time, without expressing the least amount of discomfort. I, on the other hand, am a total wuss when it comes to heels higher than two inches, and will sport higher-heeled shoes only if I have a backup plan (i.e., another pair of comfier shoes in my car).

I once asked my friend Krista how she did it. Every time I saw her, she was always in some sort of fierce heel. When I implored, she just would look at me with an “I’ll-never-tell” sort of expression, and then tell me that one day, when she deemed me ready, she would teach me the secrets of insoles.

Insoles?! Well, okay.

I had never tried them before because I just figured that shoes that were uncomfortable were just uncomfortable, and anything with a heel was destined to be this way. Also, many kinds of insoles just seem to be an investment, because they ain’t cheap!

Recently, though, I decided to try some. I started with a pair of heart-shaped Ninatinis that were basically to alleviate stress from the ball of the foot and to keep the foot in place. The first time I wore them, there was a definite difference I noticed in the comfort. While it didn’t do a whole lot in the end, it did give the ball of the foot ample padding.

Foot PetalsFast-forward a few months. There’s this fabulous gala I’m invited to, and I have to look good. Flats were not going to cut it. I got a pair of fierce black platform pumps, and I know pretty immediately that there is no way I’m going to be able to wear these bad boys all night.

It was time to take Krista’s advice and teach myself how to use full-on insoles. Many people seem to have had success with products from Foot Petals, but at the time, it really seemed out of my price range.

So I decided to try the lady’s type from Dr. Scholl’s. I really, really can’t stand their annoying commercials that feature the very elastic dancing ladies slipping into their pumps, but damn if they don’t look happy wearing their pumps! After much deliberation, I pick up a pair of their regular comfort insole, which cost about $11. When I tried them on with my shoes, the massaging gel definitely made the heel and arch much more comfortable. But there was no coverage at the ball of the foot, which is where most of the pressure was felt.

Dr. Scholl'sDr. Scholl'sSo I ventured back to the store and picked up some special ball-of-the-foot inserts for another $7. This time, my foot felt much more supported and padded, although at the same time, the shoe was very crowded and a little tight now. If you plan on using inserts, I recommend sizing up a half-size. So does Krista.

Then it was time for the party.

Ten minutes in–so far, so good. But overall, they didn’t make my shoes all-night worthy. When I normally max out in heels in about an hour, I maxed out that night maybe in an hour and a half, and then I had to go change into my backup shoes.

That said, it’s still important to experiment with devices that will increase comfort and support. While I’ve become increasingly dubious about finding a really, really awesome and true pair of all-nighters, I haven’t given up yet!

And at Solestruck.com, if a description says it’s like walking on pillows…it probably is.

-Danielle

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