If you’re determined to wear heels on the big day – it’s entirely your decision, so don’t force yourself to – then there’s some steps you can take to alleviate pain and discomfort. Don’t fancy it? Check out our favourite flats for the big day.
1. Find out what size you are
*rolls eyes* Hear us out! What shoe size are you? When did you find this out? If you’ve been wearing the same size since you were a teen you’ve probably snapped up your size fives without giving it much thought. Different shops have varied sizing, and hormonal changes like pregnancy can change the width and length of your feet. When shopping for your bridal heels, get your feet measured, but also try the size above (and below!) what you’d normally buy.
2. Shop in the real world
Or, be prepared to hit the post office. Nothing beats trying on your fancy footwear IRL, so if you are ordering online remember to buy a selection of sizes. Make sure you return the spares though! Hitting the shops? Don’t be rushed. Try on each size and walk around, wiggle your feet, weigh up your options. This is not the time to cut corners.
3. Choose carefully
Y’all ready for this? A heel with a thick strap over the top of the foot will restrict movement, which will minimise friction and stop raw patches where blisters will form. Anything lace-up, fully enclosed or with an ankle strap will be more supportive than a standard stiletto. Mid-height, chunky heels will be exponentially more comfortable than spiked, towering Louboutins. Look at the angle your foot will rest at. Even relatively low heels can contort your foot at the same angle as sky-scapping heels, so the end result will be the same. Great balls of fire!
4. Treat yourself
Cheap shoes might cost you dearly. We’re not saying you have to rush out and buy Jimmy Choos, but budget heels with plastic inners will make your feet sweat and swell. A full leather lining, like Rachel Simpson’s stunning bridal shoes, will allow your feet to breathe.
5. Practice makes perfect
If you live in flats and your heart is set on heels for the big day, the change in tootsie trajectory will require some getting used to. Borrow or buy a pair of sensible heels and start wearing them out to dinner, or round the office for a few hours. Note: don’t dive in at the deep end and borrow a pair of stripper shoes for an all-day wedding! Carry a back-up pair with you and slip in to them after a few hours. Torturing yourself just isn’t worth it.
6. Break your big day beauties in
Around the house, with the utmost care. Not on a night out. Kebab sauce is not easily removed from ivory leather with lace overlay. Keep them in pristine condition – and from pinching your feet – by wearing a thin pair of socks when you are breaking them in (it doesn’t matter how comfy your fluffy sock are, they may stretch your pumps).
7. Walk properly
At the risk of sounding patronising, let’s pretend you’ve just landed in a spaceship from a faraway planet called Flaturn, and you have no clue how to walk in heels. Take steps heel to toe. Avoid slouching or redistributing your weight forward. Stand up straight!
8. Prep your feet
A slick of Compeed’s Anti-Blister Stick can prevent blisters if applied beforehand, but baby powder is a cheaper alternative (it soaks up moisture, which stops friction). Baby powder gets bonus points for keeping feet fresh and smelling nice (hey, you never know how freaky things might get later). Keep toenails short –because obviously, finger toes are gross – but this will also stop the pressure that can lead to ingrown toenails. Heels are the biggest cause of ingrown toenails, so ditch overly pointy stilettos and start cutting your toenails straight before the big day.
9. Bring protection
Blister plasters, heel guards, cushioned in-soles: you’d rather have these and not use them (even if it leads to some light teasing from your bridesmaids), than regret not buying them and begging one of the ushers to nip to the nearest Boots. Think your venue can save the day? Yeah, if royal blue regulation catering plasters will enhance the look of your slingbacks then be our guest.
10. Take a break and don’t be frightened to make a substitution
Slip your shoes off during the meal to give your feet a break, and lift each leg to provide a bit of elevation to give your circulation a boost. If that doesn’t help, switching shoes is not admitting defeat! Keep your posture with a pair of comfy wedges, or break out a pair of flats or trainers. But not the boring gym shoes you’ve come to associate with grimacing at Metafit! Treat yourself to some beautiful bridal sneakers.