Almost nothing makes me happier than getting the new Bergdorf Goodman shoe catalog — it’s shoe porn at its best. The cover of the Spring 2009 version is the Christian Louboutin “Short Tina” peep-toe platform in magenta suede with fringed ankle warp and 4 and ¾ inch spiky heels for $1,095.
And they come in black.
There is no way these shoes will ever meet my feet even if they were handed to me on a silver platter, and let’s be realistic even if they were $100. There is a good reason for this: although I love Louboutins for their red soles and the inches they add to my legs, when they go above a certain heel height, they kill my feet. I wear a size five, so a nearly five-inch heel actually leaves me balancing on my toes.
Cruising shoe departments this week, I heard almost every woman eager for the new super-high shoes say the same thing: “How will I walk in these longer than 10 minutes?” That burning, stinging sensation on the balls of your feet is a nightmare. When you buy heels with the thought of having to bring along a pair of flip-flops just in case, what’s the point?
This spring we have a particularly good excuse to go shoe-mad. It’s the easiest, fastest way to make the transition to spring. Here’s how to make the jump painlessly:
1. Look for strappy platform sandals with thick stacked or cone heels. The extra-thick sole at the front of the shoe which ranges from ½” to an inch flattens the angle of the foot slightly to reduce the incline so you can go higher at the heel with less pressure on the ball of your foot. My favorite leg lengthening styles are:
- Calvin Klein Footwear Dali nude leather sandals with 4 and ¼ inch heel and ½-inch covered platform ($130, bloomindales.com)
- Nine West Balboa sandal with 4 inch cone stacked heel and 3/4inch stacked platform ($89, macys.com)
- Stuart Weitzman Missbuck cork slingback platform sandals in nude with a 4-inch chunky heel and 3/4 inch platform($355, Bloomingdales.com)
2. Choose lightweight cork wedges to help redistribute your weight so your entire foot from toes to heels has a solid base. My favorite comfy shoes for spring are also chic:
- Tory Burch Lottie metallic Hirachi style in woven leather with cork wedges ($275, bergdorfgoodman.com)
- Kors by Michael Kors Valley Strappy Wedge Sandal ($298, bergdorfgoodman.com) with cork wedge and gold or yellow straps
3. Skip high heel thongs in favor of slides that are slightly lower especially if you’re just running errands. You’ll still get elevation but no burn. As your foot pushes forward the last thing you want is a sore between your toes. Two easy-to-wear styles:
- Tory Burch Rosie patent leather wedges ($225, bloomingdales.com) in black, navy or red.
- Kate Spade Bamboo wedges with gold ($198, saksfifthavenue.com)
4. Use shoe pads as a preventative, don’t wait for a problem.
- If you have low arches, a firm contoured insert like Superfeet High Heel ¾” Easy Fit Insoles ($17.95 nordstrom.com) can support your foot evenly in the 12,000 steps most of us take in a single day.
- Prevent ball of foot pain or blisters with Foot Petals Killer Kushion2 Full High Heel Insoles ($12.95 a pair, topsocks.com) or Life Fitness Just For The Ball of Her Foot Cushions ($7, drugstores), a clear cushy gel pad that is also a deodorizer. Both will also keep your feet from slipping forward and crowding your toes so they don’t end up with blisters.