Here's how to troubleshoot all your footwear woes—from blisters to heel pain—as you adjust back to boots and flats
So you spent four blissful spring and summer months wearing nothing but sandals. (That is, when you wore shoes at all.) But now fall has arrived—and so have the blisters. Here, seven ways to troubleshoot the pain from adjusting back to boots and flats.
Tape Your Toes
Remember this tip from our lesson on pumps? The same applies to closed-toe booties. Simply tape your third and fourth toes together with medical tape. Turns out, there’s a nerve located directly between these two toes (science!) and wrapping them helps minimize any strain.
Blister-Proof Your Feet
Ah, the annual Achilles' heel gash. To prevent your flats from digging into your skin, take a stick of clear deodorant and rub over any problem areas where you think you might feel a pinch later. The deodorant provides a barrier between you and the leather.
Treat with Tea
And if, despite your best efforts, you still find yourself home with painful blister-covered feet, rest assured, there is a cure: Fill a pot with cooled green tea and soak your swollen feet. Its anti-inflammatory properties will work wonders on tender areas that are achy and inflamed.
Stretch Your Boots
Need a little more room in the calf? Spritz leather-stretching spray on the inside of the boot shaft. Then roll up newspapers and stuff them inside until it’s tight. Give the spray a couple of days to dry. In the process, the leather should loosen while the newspaper helps keep the boot’s shape.
Invest in Heel Caps
For the weeks (fine, months) when you just can’t make it to the cobbler, this genius invention will save you. Simply pop a cap on the end of worn-down heels and—voilà! No more rolled ankles.
Sand Your Soles
Those new Mary Janes are adorable, but sliding down a flight of stairs is…not. Grab a piece of fine-grit sandpaper and gently scuff up the bottoms before wearing them in public.
Don't Forget About Insoles
Somehow flats still hurt. A pair of super-slim cushions won’t take up much room but will work wonders on that stiff pair of Converse. (Unless, of course, you bought those spanking new joints with Nike soles.)
Pick Up Some Padding
Dr. Scholl’s Moleskin Plus is a miracle product (not to mention, available at any drugstore). The next time you feel your shoes start to rub, cut a piece of the cotton flannel padding to your desired size—say, enough to protect your big toe in those new Oxfords—and stick it patchwork-style onto the shoe anywhere it rubs.