Surviving the Holidays In Your Oh-So-Fabulous Shoes

OK, they look gorgeous, they go fabulously with that LBD (little black dress), and you practically strut as you enter the party, confident at how great you look.  At least for the first hour.  Then you start to fidget, your arches are aching, and you want to rip those shoes off as fast as possible.

Here are 10 tips on how to survive a three-hour cocktail party while dressed to the nines (the 10-3-9 plan?).  You won’t even notice you have heels on …

  1. Stretch your calves before you leave.Warm up first by walking around the house and get the blood flowing in your
    legs, then hang your heels off a stair to stretch out your calves.  This will give you more time in comfort once you’re at the party and standing.
  2. Kick your shoes off in the car ride over and when you’re seated at dinner. This will give your feet a mini-break.  Wiggle your toes to let them stretch out a bit and rest your feet.
  3. Try platform shoes instead of a standard pump. The platform can give you three inches of heel with only two inches of angle to your feet.  I discovered this trick a few years back and will be very upset if platforms ever go out of style.  I swear by ‘em.
  4. Try to break in the shoes before your event. Otherwise you’re setting yourself up for agony within 20 minutes of getting to the big event.  Your sparkling personality can’t shine through if your dogs are barking at you as soon as you walk in the door.
  5. Choose your shoes carefully. I am a big fan of Cole Haan and their line with Nike Air technology.  I have a pair of neutral pumps that I swear by; they go with everything and look fabulous.  I have another pair of Manolo’s that fit me perfectly, a lovely kitten heel that I can wear all night with no worries.  Between those two, I’ve got almost every outfit covered.
  6. Consider a sleek boot. Boots seem to have more support or structure.  I have thigh-high suede ones that are pretty dressy and two-inch heel boots that look sleek and sexy with an above-the-knee dress or skirt.  I’m pretty happy boots are back in style.
  7. Kick off your shoes as soon as you’re back in the car. If you’re in a cold weather climate you might want to tuck a pair of socks in your bag.
  8. Consider bringing those little slip-on shoes. Dr. Scholl’s sells a pair of ballet flats, so you can arrive in style, wait until the pain hits, and then slip on the ballet flats for dancing.  The female party-goers will envy your chicness and advanced planning skills, as well as how much fun you’re having!
  9. Stretch once you get home. Massage your feet a little bit (or better yet, have your significant other give you a foot rub).  Do another calf stretch, hold it for two minutes, and then reward your feet with a fuzzy pair of slippers.
  10. Drink a big glass of water. You probably had some cocktails at the party which can be dehydrating.  Wearing heels for an extended time is something your body probably isn’t used to.  This is a perfect set up for a 2 a.m. charlie horse that gets you hopping out of bed grimacing.  Head it off with a big glass of water; the hydration should help prevent it.

It’s really not that much prep work; a little stretch at the beginning and end of the night, choosing your shoes wisely, giving your feet little breaks, and staying hydrated.  What do you think of my strategies?  Do you have any that you employ?  What is your favorite pair of party shoes?

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