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I Tried Four Hacks To Make High Heels Suck Less And Here's What Actually Works

Because why must something so pretty be so damn uncomfortable?

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

Hello, I am Chelsea, and I love how heels look but hate wearing them.

Taylor Miller / BuzzFeed

My skills in heels are very limited and I definitely curse every step of the way the few times I drag them out of my closet. But then I see a picture and I'm like, But they're so preeeettyy.

My main problem is that because I never wear them (except on special occasions), ALL heels look super high, and I end up buying at least 5-inch heels.


I know you're probably thinking, No, Chelsea. Stop. Why don't you wear a kitten heel or something? To that I have only one response:

Listen, I know the logic isn't sound β€” but there's part of me that just likes going all-out if I'm going to commit to something.

AND there must be a way to make heels more bearable, right? Well, I've read a ton of hacks, and I decided to put the top ones to the ultimate test. Here is my journey.

Here are my go-to dressin' up heels that I will be using for this ~experiment~.

Chelsea Marshall / BuzzFeed

You may notice the green-brown stain on the back of the heels. It's from trying to covertly sink into the grass at weddings where I desperately needed to take the shoes off. What can I say? I'm a classy and refined guest who belongs in only the classiest and most refined establishments. PS: You're welcome for that ~super classy~ hack.

Chelsea Marshall / BuzzFeed

1. I will try a new heel hack every day of the workweek for one week, starting with a no-hack day as my control.

2. I will wear the same pair of heels for each hack.

3. I will stand as long as possible in the heels throughout the day and record the time spent in them

4. I will try not to cry as I force my feet into these chambers of doom.

No hack, as my "control."

Chelsea Marshall / BuzzFeed
Chelsea Marshall / BuzzFeed

Total flights of stairs climbed: 8

Time standing: 2 hours

Total time wearing the shoes: 4 hours

Overall thoughts: I lasted longer than I thought but I wouldn't call it pleasant. My feet hurt and I was really thankful to put on flats, as per usual.

1. Hack: These weird toe dividers.

Sarah Burton / BuzzFeed

Cost: $11.30

Method: Slip 'em on your feet so your toes are separated.

Chelsea Marshall / BuzzFeed
Chelsea Marshall / BuzzFeed
Chelsea Marshall / BuzzFeed

Total flights of stairs climbed: 2

Time standing: 6 minutes

Total time wearing the shoes: 10 minutes LOL

Overall thoughts: THESE HURT and were ugly as hell. I guess with different shoes that were way too big for me, they would work? But my left foot is smaller than my right and it still felt uncomfortable. When I stood up, I yelped. I tried to hang tough in them β€” but I just couldn't do it. Not worth the money.

2. Hack: Scotch tape.

Chelsea Marshall / BuzzFeed

Cost: ~$4 for the Scotch tape

Method: Tape your "ring" and middle toes together to (supposedly) redistribute the weight and pressure points on your feet.

Chelsea Marshall / BuzzFeed
Chelsea Marshall / BuzzFeed

Total flights of stairs climbed: 12

Time standing: ~3 hours

Total time wearing the shoes: 7 HOURS!! WHAT.

Overall thoughts: Part of me was questioning if I was just being stubborn and wanted to beat my no-hack day. And maybe that was part of it, but genuinely, my feet didn't hurt. IF I HAD TO, I could've kept them on another hour β€” but I would've complained the whole time, and no one wants that.

3. Hack: Cotton balls.

Chelsea Marshall / BuzzFeed

Cost: $5.60 for a whole pack.

Method: I read that you can put cotton balls on the under your toes to make them more comfy.

Chelsea Marshall / BuzzFeed
Chelsea Marshall / BuzzFeed

Total flights of stairs climbed: 6

Time spent standing: 1 hour

Total time wearing the shoes: 2 hours and 35 minutes

Overall thoughts: These didn't really make the experience of wearing heels any better or any worse. At first, the cotton balls felt nice on the bottom of my feet. However, by hour two, my toes felt numb and too scrunched. It was OK, but you might as well go with nothing, IMO.

4. Hack: Dr. Scholl's DreamWalk Insoles.

Chelsea Marshall / BuzzFeed
Chelsea Marshall / BuzzFeed

Cost: $14.65

Method: Put 'em in your shoes, then step into your shoes.

Total flights of stairs climbed: 12

Time spent standing: 1.5 hours

Total time wearing the shoes: 5 hours and 48 minutes

Overall thoughts: While I did appreciate the cushion this provided, the pads kind of pushed my feet out in a weird way and made my foot do that overflowing loaf thing on one side. I thought maybe this would've worked better had my shoe been bigger, but as it was, I still had a little room in the back, so I don't think it would've actually made a difference. This definitely made the experience of wearing the heels better since it provided some arch support, but it wasn't a lifesaving experience.


8213erika / Getty Images

The Dr. Scholl's insoles did a swell job β€” but they just didn't pull through like the tape. Also, the amount of tape you'll use will probably cost cents vs. the nearly $15 price tag of the foot pads. That's $15 you could spend on drinks and a snack while you're wearing your heels!

I honestly have no idea if it's been ~scientifically~ proven that you can redistribute pressure points like that. Listen, I never said I was a scientist. But I definitely lasted longer in my heels and experienced less discomfort than when I didn't use the tape.

Now go forth and gracefully wear those heels!

Joanna Borns / BuzzFeed