As much as putting on our finery is all fun and games, getting dressed up over the festive season comes with one large potential pitfall. Or rather, two.
Pretty as they are, high heels can be the gateway to world of agony and awkwardness.
Yet perhaps now more than at any other time of year, we'll be jamming our weeping tootsies into a pair. All in the name of fashion.
It's not just blisters we should be worried about, heels impact our health in the long term , damaging our nerves, muscles feet, knees, hips and back.
Podiatrist Laura Gleich has some tips for choosing heels (Photo: Getty)
But there are few things which mitigate against these adverse effects – and hopefully make heel wearing enjoyable, rather than an exercise in pain.
1. The thickness of the sole
Sharing her wisdom with Mamamia , podiatrist Laura Gleich says, “When you wear high heels your center of gravity is redistributed, causing a lot of weight to rest on the ball of your foot.”
Laura's advice is to try on as many pairs as you can to see which have more cushioning in the ball of the foot – meaning you can wear them for longer.
Platforms at the front of the shoe will also decrease the pain your heels give you.
A bit of a platform can be a good thing (Photo: Getty)
“The benefit of platforms is you can get away with wearing a higher heel without quite as much stress going through the front of your foot.”
However, beware having the platform too high – this will put your foot at an awkward angle too far off the ground.
2. The size of the base of the heel
Laura explains, “The wider your heel's base, the more support your body is given.”
Beautiful as they are, this probably rules out stilettos. Wedges are in fact the most comfortable because the entire foot is in contact with the ground, meaning your balance is better and you're less likely to go over on your ankle.
Stilettos may look nice, but they offer no support (Photo: Getty)
3. The depth and shape of the front of the shoe
It may be cold outside, but all that walking around and dancing causes your feet to sweat and swell.
Suddenly the tight, pointy heels you bought are cutting off your circulation. While you want your shoes to stay on, it's also important they have room to breathe.
As for pointy shoes, these are the worst things you could do to your feet.
These pointy toes will do you no favours
“They naturally increase the pressure throughout your foot – and then you have to squeeze all five of your toes together into that narrow space.
“Try to find a shoe with a more accommodating shape, like a rounded edge.”