High heels may give you confidence and extra style points, but they can also wreak havoc on your body when you don’t know how to choose and wear them correctly. Discover the most important rules for wearing high heels while reducing foot and back pain.

Check out the best tips for wearing heels, that will help you stay more comfortable and avoid many of the problems associated with high heels.

Always Pay Attention to the Right Fit

Buying shoes a size to small is always a mistake, but if you don’t pay attention to the fit of high heels, you’re in for a lot of trouble. The most common problem associated with high heels is that the foot slides forward. When you’re shoe shopping, look for a snug fit in the front of the shoe, that will keep your ankle in place over the heel.

Choose the Right Slope for the Heel

High Heels

One of the best tips for wearing heels is to make sure that the slope of the shoe is as gradual as possible. You might love high heels with a straight drop to the flatbed, but those are also the type of heels that put the most pressure on your entire foot, causing pain that can also extend to your back.

Always Test-Drive New Heels

Whether you plan on wearing your new heels to a wedding, job interview or date, it’s important to wear them at least a couple of times before your big event. Breaking in your shoes is always a good idea, but with high heels it’s even more important. Take your new shoes to the supermarket and you’ll be able to use the cart to find the right balance for this type of heel.

Read more: How to Choose Comfortable Shoes

Use Cushioning Products

Customizing your shoes is a must, whether you go for a full-shoe insert or a little less padding in your problem areas. Silicone pads can change the way your shoes feel completely, and if you don’t want a full insert, go for extra padding for the ball of your foot. Once you’ve customized the insides of your shoes, one of the best tips for wearing heels is to also get a slim gripping pad for the outer sole. If you’re in a hurry, you can also use sandpaper on the bottom of the soles, to make sure you won’t slip and lose your balance on any surface.

Don’t Stay On Your Feet for Too Long

Woman Resting Her Feet

If you can take a short break from standing up, your feet are less likely to hurt later or when you take your shoes off. Rest your toes for a few minutes every half an hour, if you can, in order to minimize the tension that’s building up in your feet.

Chose the Right Type of High Heel Shoes

One of the best tips for wearing heels is to really analyze your feet before choosing the right shoes. If you’re struggling with calluses or corns, an open-toe high heel will decrease the pressure in these inflamed areas. Boots or ankle booties provide more coverage on top and they’re a better choice when you’re already experiencing foot and back pain caused by high heels.

See also: How to Prevent Blisters from Shoes

Keep Your Back Straight

This may seem like a no-brainer, but many women experience pain because they’re not actually used to wearing high-heels the right way. A straight back will help, but you should also straighten and extend your legs at every step. This doesn’t just reduce pressure in your feet and back, it will also make you look more elegant in your high heels.

Try Yoga

Yoga Posture

When you’re working out, focus on your core and limb extensions in order to be more comfortable in high heels. Trying a yoga class is definitely one of the best tips for wearing heels, since it will not only help you tone your muscles, but it can also make you more aware of everything that’s happening in your body.

Go For Thicker Heels

If you’re already suffering foot pain from stilettos, it’s time to give your feet a rest and wear thicker heels for a while. A thick heel can help you maintain your balance easier and a thick sole, like a platform, will also distribute the pressure more evenly in your foot, reducing the discomfort you feel when you’re on high heels.

Don’t miss: 5 Important Side Effects of Wearing High Heels

Always Care for Your Feet Once the Shoes Come Off

If you’ve been standing in high heels for hours, one of the best tips for wearing heels is to do some quick damage control once you’re able to take them off. Stretch your feet, focusing on the ankle and your toes. A quick dip in cold water can also help, so leave the warm foot bath for later.

Photos: Thinkstock