So you’ve already read part one and you are determined to think more carefully about the next pair of shoes you invest in to ensure they are right for your foot anatomy and lifestyle.
But you still have a problem.
What about your closet full of shoes that you love, but your feet don’t?
I’m going to be straight forward with you. In many cases your best option is truly to pass them on to someone else whose feet they are better suited for. If you’re like me and that feels heartbreaking and you want to try really hard to see if something can be done... well here are a few options.
Full length Insoles
If the shoes lack arch support, try adding better insoles. You can have a pair of insoles custom made that you can switch between shoes. They work best where you can remove the original insole and replace with the custom insoles (I have Wiivv’s) but depending on the shoe and depending on the insole, you may be able to place the better insole right on top of the one from the manufacturer. Just make sure that the top of your foot isn't squished against the top of the shoe because that can make for other problems..
3/4 Length Insoles
Some shoes are too narrow at the toe box to add a full length insole without having to cut it. Or perhaps they have an open toe. In these cases, consider adding 3/4 length insoles. I had this trouble and bought the 3/4 length Wiivv custom insoles and found them to be a great solution. Surprisingly I’ve worn them even with some sandal styles and they’ve stayed in place pretty well and made a huge difference in how my feet feel by the end of the day.
Metatarsal pads are a great option to relieve some of the pressure on your metatarsals (toe joints) that tend to get worse when you wear high heels. You can get some leather ones like these and adhere them to the sole of the shoe. They won’t be noticed by others when your shoe is on and you can select different colors to make them blend even more.
Arch Support Inserts
If you want to treat yourself to arch support that is a little more subtle than a full on orthotic insole, can I recommend thepedag leather self adhesive arch support inserts? They’re around $10 a pair. You can use the adhesive to place them in the perfect spot to accommodate your arch support needs. Alternatively, you can MacGyver a set up using arch compression sleeves over top of the inserts to hold them in place. Add cute socks and wear the same pair with multiple shoes. Note: This can, obviously, be a bit cumbersome. However, if you are in a pinch or if you are pinching pennies it definitely works.
Heel Cups / Heel Cushions
Heel cups are a great option if you’re getting heel pain as they absorb the shock of each step and provide some extra bounce! I tried 2 highly recommended brands on amazon - Dr Scholls and ViveSole. The Vive are thicker, but I didn’t personally care for how they seemed to squish when I wore them. They definitely do help, though. You can adhere them directly to your shoe’s insole. TheDr Scholls Heel Cushions can be used on multiple shoes as they don’t have an adhesive bottom. That’s also a main complaint against them - that they don’t have an adhesive bottom and can thus shift as you’re walking. You can’t win them all...
Heel grips, sometimes also called heel cushions, are a wonderful solution when the back of your shoe tends to rub the back of your heel leading to irritation and blisters. Remember, this can happen not only if your shoes are tight, but actually when your shoes are too loose! The heel grips can stop your foot from slipping out the back of the shoe with each step. Sometimes the combination of heel grips and heel cups position your foot much better in the shoe and make for a much better wear.
Moleskin is a great solution to minimize shoe friction and you can add it directly to the shoe or to the problem spot on your foot that you just know is going to blister! I’ve had it happen before that a pair of shoes that were otherwise really comfortable (my Clark’s sandals) had this one spot where’re they rubbed the top of my foot and always created a blister. It only happened on one foot. And otherwise they were great for cruises or hanging out at the beach. An easy go-to summer flip flop. I didn’t know about moleskin then. You can buy it in rolls or in pre-cut shapes that would be great for a scenario like the one I just mentioned.