Look Taller & Slimmer

Q: I love wearing high heels, but they always hurt my feet. How can I find a comfy pair?

A: High heels place a disproportionate amount of stress and pressure on the ball of the foot, explains New York-based podiatrist Frederick Brookman, D.P.M. "They change your natural gait, which throws off your body's alignment," says Brookman. "Wearing them constantly can shorten the muscles in the back of the leg, causing pain." The key to comfort? Shoes that allow the foot to spread when standing, and cushioning under the ball of the foot. Shoe guru Manolo Blahnik, whose designs adorn the feet of celebs like Sarah Jessica Parker, says comfortable heels have the perfect balance of being lightweight with a well-constructed heel. "The higher the heel, the more complex the construction. Designers often focus on how a shoe looks rather than a comfortable fit," he says. To test for comfort, stand the shoe on a table; if it wobbles, it will be hard to walk in. Another fit tip: "About 90 percent of people have different-size feet, so fit the larger one," advises Tina Aldatz Norris, founder of Foot Petals, the designer shoe cushions for high heels. "Walk around when you try on shoes--feet can expand as much as half a size with the pressure of your body weight when you stand up."

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