Have you ever had shoes that after just a little bit of wear become loose enough that the heel slips every time you wear them? Or worse still shoes that fall off your feet as you walk?
Or, do you have one foot slightly larger than the other so that every time you buy shoes you have a choice of which foot has the issue; either one slightly too small or one slipping as you walk?
There are a number of ways that you can address this so that both feet are comfortable, and there is no need to walk along with your toes hanging onto the insole of your shoe as if you were wearing flip-flops that were too big.
One big issue is that customers start with the wrong size shoe – especially in high heels, where you may find you are an altogether different size than you are in flats. Check your shoe size, have your feet measured (or measure them yourself at home) and try shoes on one size up and one size down from that. All shoes have a slightly different fit, if they are wider shoes then you may need to go down a size, in high heels often the structure is such that it is better to go up slightly.
Have a think about the style of shoe you are buying if this is an ongoing issue for you:
Buying shoes with an ankle strap, or T strap can just give that extra bit of security needed to ensure that there is no slip on the heel by bringing the shoe with you when you step.
Heels elevate the heel much higher than the toe, logically, but wedges give a flatter profile whilst gaining you the same height – perhaps wedges rather than stilettos could be a good choice for you?
Open toed heels give the opportunity for feet to slide forwards on some design shoes, a closed toe gives better support at the front, and therefore keeps the heel back into the heel of the shoe better.
Is something you are doing causing the issue?
If you moisturise your feet slightly before leaving your house then you are creating a situation where the feet slip inside the shoe. Always ensure that feet are going into the shoe dry.
If sweat is causing the problem then there are a huge variety of socks and tights on the market, including those as thin as tights, that fit right inside the shoe and can’t be seen (foot liners) and tights with a foot in the design, both can make a change that solves the problem. There are even tights on the market with built in anti-slide feet pads. If you don’t like wearing socks or tights then an application of talcum powder on the sole of the feet will keep them dryer for longer, don’t put too much on though, or you end up with paste on your feet!
If though you already have the shoes and the problem how do you address it?
One of the strangest solutions, but commonly used, is to spray hairspray onto the bare feet before putting the shoe on. Spray from a generous distance, and focus on the area of the skin inside the shoe. Clearly common sense is necessary here – you don’t want to be so sticky that you are uncomfortable, but a light spritz can give that extra bit of resistance from the foot and solve a slight issue.
Making changes to the shoe:
There are a number of products that are available on the market to apply directly to the shoe to prevent the slipping.
Moleskin comes in different sizes and can be cut to fit the area on concern, it’s a self-adhesive padded insert that will reduce width just in the heel area inside the shoe.
Specially designed heel grips are marketed by a number of brands in various materials. These are pre-cut crescent shaped pieces of padding that fit inside the back of the heel onto the shoe.
A do-it-yourself emergency fix would be simple double sided tape (although there is professional double sided body tape available if you like this idea), not particularly comfortable, but preferable to falling off your heels on the way home.
Sometimes the issue is not that the heel is too widely cut, but that the shoe is slightly too big, this is especially true if you are only experiencing the problem on one foot. In this instance an insole introduced to the shoe can cure the issue. The slippage will be on your smaller foot, add an insole to that shoe only, and it just lifts the foot enough to take up that additional space in the shoe.
If your problem is in a high heel then it may be worth trying to cut down the insole so that it is just under the ball of the foot – that may be sufficient.
Gel inserts can be purchased that go underneath the foot, either the entire foot, or just the ball. These are resistant to movement, and help the foot to stay in position within the shoe.
You could slightly pad out the toe in a heeled shoe, with a mouldable material like tissue. Be careful not to overstuff, the aim is to prevent the foot from slipping into the toe space, not enable you to buy a pair of size 11 shoes in the sale when you are a size 6.
Finally, it may be worth considering how you walk. If you walk with a dropped toe, and the toe connects to the ground initially, then you are pushing forwards into your shoes. Focus on walking ‘heel-toe’ as you step forwards and see if this improves your foot positioning within your shoe as you walk. Smaller steps also cause less slippage, if you are used to marching about all day in flats, and suddenly find yourself in heels just shorten your stride shortly to allow your feet and body to stay in better alignment.