25 Heels That Are Way More Comfortable Than Flats
If you've ever owned a pair of flats—a ballet, a loafer, or even a sandal—that was so painful you practically couldn't walk in them, then this story is for you. (We know your pain!) Sure, every pair of new shoes takes time to break in, and we're willing to give a grace period of up to a month before we officially condemn a pair as too uncomfortable to wear, but past that point, our patience wears as thin as the bottoms of our uncomfortable shoes.
In the spirit of always pursuing comfort in fashion, we've come up with a fool-proof strategy to make sure your heels are consistently among the most comfortable shoes you own. Here's what you need to know: When shoe shopping, always reach for a pair with a supportive sole, thick heel, and low arch. These three factors combine to make one shockingly comfortable pair of heels—and often mean the shoe is even more comfortable than a flat, which provides little support.
Keep scrolling to shop the five types of heels that are more comfortable than flats!
The most important key to a pair of heels that won't have you yelping in pain: a thick, blocky heel. Though they don't necessarily recommend wearing heels as a general rule, podiatry experts far and wide nonetheless suggest steering clear of pinpoint-width stilettos and instead reaching for wide heels that guarantee more support for your delicate ankles.
Another great tactic for relieving the painful stress high heels put on your arches: the platform. This is a similar logic to wearing midi-height heels, but instead of bringing your heel lower to the ground you're bringing the sole of your foot closer to the sky via the platform. Most modern-day heels have a platform beneath the sole, even if it's a hidden one; but if you're looking at a pair of classic pointy black pumps, for example, it's going to be a tougher find. If you're unsure whether a pair has a platform, you can always ask a sales associate!
Of course, it's common sense that the higher a heel, the more difficult it is to walk in—but the higher they are, the more painful they have the potential to be. The reason? The higher your heel juts up toward the sky, the more severe the arch of your foot down toward the sole—and the more pain caused by the unnatural distortion of your foot. The solution: A lower heel is a great place to start. Think two to three inches instead of five to six; and if you are dying to rock a stiletto, this is the heel height at which to do it.
Another reason heels can be so painful: The heel itself just isn't that well-constructed, which leads to wobbling, teetering, and undue stress on your ankles. A good solution? Look for a pair of heels wherein you can actually see the stacked construction of the heel; often, these heels are wooden, which gives you the confidence that they're not made from a synthetic material prone to breaking or otherwise not giving you enough support. Look for the striations on heels to confirm that they're made from wood and constructed with the solid, stacked method.