Skip to content


Your cart is empty

Article: How Should Heels Fit? 8 Things You Need To Know

How Should Heels Fit? 8 Things You Need To Know

How Should Heels Fit? 8 Things You Need To Know

We adore a good pump. In fact, the first shoe we released was an Italian pump, which took on many iterations from our color block d'Orsay pump to our loafer pump because we believed (still do) that women deserved to have functional and fashionable shoes they can wear without foot pain. We’ve made it our mission to become experts in making and fitting truly comfortable high heels. Not the easiest task to undertake, but extremely worthwhile. 

So, in the spirit of sharing the secret of truly comfortable heels, here are 8 tips every woman needs to know to ensure their pumps are a proper fit and are comfortable as possible: 

1. Gapping Is Your Biggest Enemy

Any gap in your shoe is an opportunity for discomfort (think blisters, heel pain, toe cramping, ingrown toenails, etc.). If you notice you have a gap in the back of your high-heeled shoes, it means your shoe is not holding your foot in place well enough. Your foot is sliding down into toe box of the shoe, jamming your toes upfront (ouch!) while letting your heel slip out (a la Miss Cinderella) in the back. 

Tempted to try the trick of wearing heels two size too large, like some of the British royalty are rumored to do? We personally recommend against it. Women give each other all kinds of crazy advice, but wearing heels that are a proper fit will likely serve you far better than the wrong size.

2. Arch Support Is Your Best Friend

Whether you have flat feet or have ultra-high arches, everyone benefits from arch support. You want the sole cushioning of your pumps to have as much contact with your foot as possible. If you’re experiencing a bit of “wobble” in your shoe, you are likely not getting enough inner and outer arch support. Choose a shoe that pairs well with your natural foot shape, or achieve a proper shoe fit with the extra cushioning provided by arch-supporting insoles. Support = stability = happy feet and ankles. 

3. Don't Neglect The Ankle

If your foot is slipping and sliding in your shoe, changing sizes to fill the gaps isn't the only recommended solution. To limit your foot's movement even more, make sure you have proper ankle support. A good fit around the ankle is a safety must for any heel, but a pump with an ankle strap, like our popular Nola D’Orsay heels or the new Aurora Pump, will offer more stability. Eliminating that fear of a Cinderella slip-up, ankle straps keep your feet securely in place without you having to think about it, taking that burden off of your strained feet and ankles and limiting the chance of injury.

4. Choose The Best Style For Your Foot Shape

Anyone can dabble in any shoe style, but for optimal comfort, consider the best style for your foot shape. For narrow feet that feel like they're swimming in shoe space, choose a heel with an ankle strap to help keep your feet in place. For wider feet that feel trapped in a tight toe box, opt for a roomy open toe heel instead, like our new Rosella Sandal. Flat footed fashionistas should limit heel height to account for a lack of a natural arch - your foot wants to lay flat, so meet it in the middle with a low-height kitten heel. On the flip side, a high arch should be met with ample support, so a block heel or platform heel is superior to a stiletto, and the more cushioning in the sole, the better.

5. Stretching - It’s Good For Your Body And Your Shoes

We recommend everyone (yes, everyone) get a shoe stretcher. You should never have to “break-in” your shoes – you can and should achieve a proper shoe fit without destroying your feet in the process. Think about it like treating your shoes to a little yoga! You can also opt to visit your local cobbler to have them stretched but DIY is just as good. 

We recommend sticking with high heels made from natural materials like leather heels that can easily be stretched. 

6. Quality Materials Make All The Difference

Speaking of fabrics, get smart about where the materials of your shoes are sourced from. We choose leather not only because it's easy to stretch manually, but because it molds to your foot on its own for the perfect fit, truly getting better with time. Leather is also breathable, so you don't have to reach for open-toe heels to avoid a claustrophobic foot- these are the three ingredients for dressing happy feet!

7. Remember That Your Size May Change And That’s Completely NORMAL

A lot of things can affect your foot and shoe size, including the time of the year, your weight, and pregnancy. We recommend everyone measuring your feet often for this very reason.

It is common to have a naturally larger foot during the summer season versus in the winter – in fact, some people can go up a full shoe size during the summertime. If you spend your whole summer wearing sandals or barefoot, don’t expect your winter shoes to be a perfect fit when the seasons first change.

Your feet are also going to fluctuate in size with any significant weight gain or weight loss. This is completely normal. Just double-check your foot size often and adjust accordingly! In fact, women who shop for shoes with the right fit will find their closet filled with a myriad of sizes because it’s about finding what feels good on your feet, not the size on the box.

You’re likely aware that feet tend to get a bit bigger during pregnancy and, not to be the bearer of bad news, just be prepared to potentially say goodbye to your pre-pregnancy shoes. Some women’s feet simply do not shift back after pregnancy so you just may be forced to treat yourself to some new pumps (darn, it!).

8. Learn How To Check For The Right Fit

Make sure to try on your shoes at the end of the day and buy to that size. Your feet swell throughout the day and this will ensure you don’t experience unnecessary discomfort and foot pain after a long day on your feet.

Also, take them for a stroll around on a carpeted surface for about 20 minutes before committing. The carpet will protect them from damage and you’ll have a much better idea of whether or not they're the right shoe after walking around a bit.

When push comes to shove, finding the right shoe fit is a trial and error process. A brand’s size guide is the best starting point, but you simply have to try a style on and exchange if they end up being the wrong size for you. It may take a few tries to find the right size for you in that brand but, trust us, it’s worth the effort.

Read more

Types of loafers for women
SHOE 101

11 Different Types of Loafers For Women

The Many Iterations of This Classic Shoe While shoes may be a necessary requirement to walking out the door and beginning your day, there is something uniquely satisfying about a slip-on-and-go opt...

Read more
Mastering How to Style Mid-Calf Boots

Mastering How to Style Mid-Calf Boots

As we head into peak boot season, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the prospect of having to find new and interesting ways to style the footwear we will be reaching for for the next 4+ months. H...

Read more