By Barbara Bishop
You’ve been invited to a dressy holiday party. It’s one day before the event. You have the dress, and just bought the perfect pair of high-heeled shoes an hour ago. They may look great and feel good when you’re sitting, but what the hell are you going to do when you have to walk in shoes that haven’t been broken in?
Here are a few inexpensive home remedies that I just used last weekend right before a black-tie wedding. They may sound a little weird, (at least I thought so) but they really work!
• Stick a peeled potato in your shoes. This may seem strange and a little unappetizing, but it can help stretch out your heels quickly. You’ll need to select two potatoes large enough puff up your shoes.
• Peel the potatoes before putting them in your shoes – it will allow the moisture from the potatoes’ juices to soften the material inside your shoes, which will make it easier to stretch.
• Leave the potatoes in your shoes overnight or for at least eight hours in order for the shoes to remain enlarged once the potatoes are removed. (When you’re done, make sure to wipe out your shoes to get rid of the potato residue!)
• Rough up the bottoms of your heels. It’s important that your shoes have a decent amount of traction on the bottom. Walking in high heels will be a lot easier and safer if you’re not sliding around all over the place. New heels tend to have smoother bottoms that become rougher once scuffed. Speed up the process by roughing up the bottom of your heels using a piece of sandpaper. Rub the bottom of your heels for a minute or two, or until the bottoms feel noticeably rougher.
• Freeze a bag of water inside your shoes. Water expands when it freezes, making it a great method to break in your high heels.
• Fill the freezer bag half way with water. Squeeze the air out of the bag and close it up. Toss the bag lightly in your hands to make sure it’s closed all the way and that there are no leaks in the bag.
• Gently stuff the bag inside the shoe until it fills all of the emptyspace down to the toe. You may need more than one bag of water depending on the size of your shoe. Be sure to tuck the bag in places where the shoes feel too tight on your feet.
• Put the shoes into the freezer, and keep them there until the water freezes completely. Once the water is frozen, you can remove the bags and try on your shoes, which should now be stretched.
• Last, but not least, cover the parts of your feet that are being pinched by your heels with moleskin, soak your feet in water, and then wear your heels for a few hours.
• Moleskin is basically a more comfortable bandage that comes in sheets that you can cut into any size. One side is sticky and one side is soft. It protects the areas of your feet that hurt when wearing your heels, which is where those painful blisters form. Dampening the moleskin and then wearing your shoes will help the insides of your shoes to mold more quickly to the shape of your foot.
• To get maximum comfort, soak your feet in warm water for a few minutes while wearing the moleskin. The moleskin will expand. The extra padding will give your feet additional protection. And because the moleskin is damp, it will help to soften the material inside your shoes, making it more pliable and able to conform to the shape of your feet.
Have a great time in those gorgeous new heels – with no pain! Happy holidays!