15 Podiatrist-Recommended Foot Care Products That Make Heels More Bearable

Straight from the experts.

Pull your ankle straight for a shin splint stretch.

Heels are fabulous. But the sad truth is they can really hurt and cause calluses, blisters, and other uncomfortable skin issues, thus making them a chore once you decide to wear them. There are many reasons why something so aesthetically pleasing can hurt so bad.

“The position of the foot in a high heel is one that shifts the body weight forward compressing the ball of the foot and lower back,” New York City-based podiatrist Dr. Emily Splichal tells Bustle. “As the height of the heel increases, so does the stress on the joints.”

Dr. Brad Schaeffer, board-certified foot surgeon at Sole Podiatry NYC and star of TLC’s My Feet Are Killing Me, adds that sometimes you’re not choosing the right pair of heels for your feet (they’re either too tight, too big, not wide enough, too high of a heel, etc.), which will inevitably lead to foot pain.

But you don’t have to forgo a life of heels forever if you love the way you look in them. These are easy high heel hacks that don’t require you to sacrifice style for comfort. Splichal recommends staying below three inches in heel height, especially if you wear high heels often. Schaeffer agrees and says that the higher the heel, the more strain they will put on your feet. Therefore, three inches is a comfortable height for most, especially those who are new to walking in heels. “I always say, if you can’t walk in the shoes, don’t buy them,” he says.

You can also vary heel height during the week. Schlipal says switching from heels one day to flats the next minimizes the stress. Schaeffer emphasizes the importance of choosing the correct shoe size. He explains that there should be a bit of extra wiggle room in the front (he suggests between a quarter inch and half an inch of space) so that your toes don’t scrunch together. He also mentions that one foot is usually slightly larger than the other, so choose the size of the larger foot when picking heels for optimal comfort.

The last tip they give to making high heels wearable are using trusty foot care products. From creams, to sprays, to cushion gels — both Schaeffer and Splichal shared all the products they recommend to keep pain and blisters at bay. See what they picked below.


As someone who is blister-prone, this is my true saving grace. It creates an invisible barrier between your skin and the leather strap (faux or real) that is rubbing against it to prevent intense rubbing and friction. It lasts for about six hours and is free of phthalates & parabens.


Schaeffer says that wearing a great pair of orthotics can instantly make any heel more comfortable. Something like the Dr. Scholl’s® Stylish Step® Invisible Cushioning Insoles for High Heels, he says, have arch support with a cushion to shift pressure off the ball of the foot. They also flex as you walk for an even more comfortable fit and are made with thin, lightweight invisible gel so they blend into the shoe better with making them feel too tight.


Splichal recommends moleskin tape to make heels more comfortable and prevent blisters from forming. This set comes in all different shapes and sizes, and each soft gel pad alleviates any friction if you need to stand in heels for hours.


If you’re constantly feeling pain on the balls of your feet when wearing your heels, Splichal is a fan using of these gel foot cushions to relieve it. The Dr. Scholl’s Ball of Foot Cushions For High Heels help prevent your feet from sliding forward, stopping toes from crunching up and helping balance out the tension from having your feet arched so high. It’s pretty thin and will suit most heels.


Made with cooling menthol, tea tree oil, and vitamin E, and aloe, this spray is anti-inflammatory and prevents feet from swelling and getting red as you wear heels. You won’t feel pain or discomfort for up to six hours, which is perfect for any special occasions like weddings, birthday parties, showers, and more.


Splichal recommends using a sweat-wicking spray, like this one from Arm & Hammer, to help prevent excessively sweaty feet. Since foot sweat can cause painful blisters, you’ll want to make sure your feet stay dry to prevent future bumps.


Shaeffer likes the Dr. Scholl’s® Blister Treatment Cushions with DURAGEL® technology to not only prevent blisters, but also help heal ones that you already have. This cushion is thin, breathable, and flexible to protect sores from rubbing against shoes and getting worse.


These non-slip insoles reduce pain by helping distribute pressure as you wear heels. They’re made of silicone gel and fit easily into most heels.


If your heels are open-toed and you don’t want any visible bandages or cushions, this anti-blister stick is your best bet. It creates an invisible barrier between skin and the shoe to reduce friction and prevent blisters. As an added bonus, it’s super small to throw in your bag (or even your pocket) so you can reapply wherever you go.


For the heel area, in particular, consider getting some sort of heel guard. This super soft suede leather heel grip will help you fit into those slightly bigger shoes that gap at the heel and grip the heel so that your foot isn’t slipping in and out.


To target specific areas on your foot where you want to prevent blisters or calluses, try these foot petals. The small spot cushions are discrete but cover those specific problem areas comfortably so that you can wear heels as pain-free as possible.


Your pinky toes are the most susceptible areas for blisters and pain when wearing heels. Protect them with a bunion guard. This one is made of soft gel to reduce friction and stays in place even if you wear your heels for hours.


Not only does this CBD foot balm relieve any pain that might come from wearing heels, but it also nourishes and moisturizes skin to treat dryness and any damage.


After a long day (or night) of wearing heels, Splichal likes to use toe spacers as part of the recovery process. She recommends these from Naboso, which are designed to realign toe position and help stretch the small muscles in your toes to improve your balance and posture.


Splichal says that another must-have for post-heel-wearing recovery is this Neuro Ball. It acts like a massage tool to relieve your feet and minimize any pain.