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How To Find The Most Comfortable Heels To Stand In All Day

by Elisa Lewittes   May 12, 2022
When life gets busy, the last thing you want to worry about is having blistered, sore feet.

Versatile, comfortable heels are a closet essential – perfect to wear for work into the night or for several hours while dancing at a wedding. Low block-heeled shoes are often considered the most comfortable heels by default. However, the overall anatomy of the shoe – beyond the heel height (or shape) – determines how comfortable your heels are. Consider how the shoe’s general silhouette, material composition, and features like insole support and toe box design impact whether your heels are suitable to stand in all day.

Whether you have a special occasion coming up or need a new staple shoe for your professional wardrobe, here are the features to know, consider and look for when shopping for comfortable heels.



Why It’s Difficult To Find Comfortable Heels

When looking to shop for comfortable heels, it’s helpful to understand why most heels cause significant pain after an hour or two of wear. When you’re wearing heeled shoes, 75%-90% of your body weight shifts forward onto the balls of your feet. Heeled footwear often is uncomfortable because they have thin insoles that lack proper cushioning under this foot’s pressure point. With no to little support on the balls of your feet, you intuitively transfer this unsupported weight onto your toes. Most heeled shoes also have a narrow toe box, which only compounds this concentrated pressure placed on the front of your foot.

Higher heel heights tend to be less comfortable than shorter heels to walk around or wear all day long. However, the back heel height matters less than the arch of your foot inside the shoe. As a general rule, the steeper the arch, the more uncomfortable your heels will be. Shoes with sharper inclines create more concentrated pressure on the balls of your feet. Especially without cushioning, these factors can make a pair of stilettos feel extremely painful only minutes after slipping them on your feet...

 

 

​​Know Your Angles

 

A lack of support on the two main pressure points, the balls of your feet and under the heel, can make any pumps or heeled boots uncomfortable. If you’re standing flat-footed, the weight is distributed almost evenly between these two pressure points. However, once you elevate your heel, the pressure disproportionally shifts forward towards the balls of your feet and toes. The higher the heel, the more weight gets concentrated on the front of your foot. When wearing shoes with a 10 cm heel (around 4-inches) or higher, at least 90% of your body weight rests on the balls of your feet.


Platform heels offer the best of both worlds and raise your footbed to reduce your foot’s arch for a more comfortable fit. This elevated look allows you to get away with considerably taller heels without the same level of pain or footbed pressure that you would typically feel with a heel of the same stature. Subtract the height of the platform from the height of the back heel to determine the height that the shoe “feels” like when on. Most Elizée shoes feature at least a 0.4-inch platform to minimize your foot’s incline and elongate your legs with less pain.

 

 

Cushioning is Key

Cushioned insoles are the most important feature to look out for to ensure you find the most comfortable heels possible. They help evenly distribute this concentrated pressure to help reduce blisters, muscle fatigue, and lower back pain. At Elizée, we spent a year developing our signature Plush Contour insole in collaboration with podiatrists and artisans at our partner factories in Italy.
Our custom Plush Contour insole features a 3-layer design with innovative shock absorption technology for maximum comfort, durability, breathability and stability. The three layers include: (1) a breathable Italian leather top layer, (2) an ultra-gel cushion middle layer and (3) a high-density Poron memory foam base layer. The cushioning is thicker under the heel for shock absorption with padding under the two key pressure points to distribute the weight evenly throughout the foot.
The Poron 94 base layer custom offers soft yet resilient cushioning with a slow rebound to minimize shock absorption. It returns to its original shape after each wear and provides support to improve balance and stability with every step. An ultra-cushion gel covers this memory foam base for a responsive fit and personalized feel. This middle layer molds to the contours of your feet for customized comfort and lower stress on vital pressure points. The cushioned gel offers a soft to the touch, delicate feel on the skin to make every pair of heels feel comfortable for work, weddings and other occasions that require frequently standing (or dancing).

Stand Firm

Comfortable heels require supportive insoles. When shopping, look for options that have a plush cushion but not options that feel too soft. Customers might believe that the softest insoles are the most ideal for comfort. However, in reality, they will find that the most comfortable heels include insoles with a robust, slightly denser feel, like Elizée’s multi-layered foam insoles.  Every pair of Elizée shoes includes our 3-layered insoles to offer stability, balance and support every contour of your foot. Our heels never include standard arch support, because these insoles can cause you to shift more weight onto concentrated pressure points and hurt your midsoles. Instead of this inflexibility and potential discomfort, all Elizée shoes feature insoles that custom mold to your feet, so your heels are always comfortable to wear – whether you have arched or flat feet.

 

Breathe Easy

While pain comes from concentrated pressure, the most comfortable heels will also keep you from having warm, sweaty feet. Every pair of Elizée shoes is crafted with a breathable, luxurious Italian leather upper construction and lining. The top layer of our custom-made insoles is made from biodegradable, eco-conscious leather (a by-product of the food industry) with a custom glaze finish that keeps the material’s pores open for maximum shoe breathability. Glazed kid skins are considered the high-quality leather lining option, the type used for the insole in every pair of Elizée shoes. Our specialty glazing process makes this buttery material even softer to ensure every pair of heels feels comfortable for all-day wear. 

 

​​The two lower layers of our custom insoles also feature lightweight, breathable technology. Below the glazed leather lining, the insoles layer a breathable cushion gel with a memory foam base layer that features open-cell technology to keep your feet cool and supported and to add a spring to your step for a more comfortable heel-wearing experience.

 

 

Strong Finish

Small details matter when it comes to finding the most comfortable heels. Technical features like seam and strap placements can prevent rubbing or skin irritation and hold your foot securely in place. At Elizée, we avoid using seams on sensitive areas, like bunions or ankles, to ensure the shoe’s interior feels smooth on the skin. Many of our designs include delicate ankle strap detailing to keep your ankles from rolling – allowing you to feel more confident with every stride in the office or while dancing the night away.
From streamlined booties to elegant pumps or sandals, Elizée offers a line of versatile footwear to elevate your look with your all-day comfort in mind. Shop our permanent collection now to find your next go-to pair of ultra-comfortable heels.