Petite Fashion Challenges

Wearing heels with narrow feet: My secret weapon

A narrow dilemma

So, here’s the thing about my feet: They’re narrow. Very, very narrow. Like, not even on the charts narrow. Or, more specifically, I measure out at an AA on the ball of my foot, and a AAAA on my heel. Yeah, I didn’t even know that feet came that narrow. But they do.

Compounded with this, I wear a rather small shoe size, usually around a women’s 5.5 or a 6, depending on the brand, which corresponds roughly to a European 36 or 36.5, depending on brand. (I’m more of a 6.5 or 7 in athletic shoes, since, for some odd reason, those tend to be sized differently in North America. Don’t ask.)

Finding shoes that come in different widths is already tough here in Canada. Making matters  worse, some of the brands that do come in narrow widths, like Munro, only start them at a women’s size 7, for some odd reason. Conversely, shoe brands and stores that cater to smaller feet, such as Cinderella’s of Boston, only come in M and W widths, not narrow.  I don’t know why these manufactures or retailers don’t seem to intuitively grasp that smaller feet might also be narrower feet. But I suspect that, once again, it’s a volume game, and those of us at the smaller end of the stick are losers.

Walking in heels with narrow feet

The width thing makes it hard to find all sorts of shoes, but it’s a particular problem with heels. When wearing boots, sandals with straps, or athletic shoes, I can usually compensate for a too-wide fit somewhat by securing the shoe on the top of my foot, and packing insoles in.

But with heels? Even a few steps could send my shoes flying off. And the foot pain from trying to keep them on my feet? Oh, don’t get me started!

The thing is, though, I love wearing heels. As a 5’1″ petite, I love the extra height and style that high heels give me. Pumps, mules and wedges may be the bane of my existence. But they are the perfect complements to my outfits. Oh, the dilemma!

My secret weapon

I have a secret weapon: Dr Scholl’s For Her Ball of Foot Inserts. Available from the local pharmacy or on Amazon for around $10 a pair. Stick onto shoes, add cushioning and grip. Pushes feet back in shoe and helps front stay on.

(And no, there are no paid promos or affiliate links anywhere on the blog, and Dr. Scholl’s hasn’t paid me for this ad, nor have they given me any free swag. This post is 100% just because I love these things.)

The secret to these is that they’re a little bit sticky. Not just on the underside, which stick to the ball of my shoes, but also on the top, where the plastic forms a bit of “grip” with my feet. This makes them different from smoother leather insoles, which really just slide around on my feet and do nothing whatsoever to keep my shoes on.

These inserts don’t necessarily stop heel slippage. But they do keep the front of my feet in place in my shoes, and prevent them from flying into the air, or smacking my friends or colleagues in the face. Or, for that matter, from turning me into Cinderella. (Seriously, the girl was running in glass slippers, and she didn’t expect one to fly off? C’mon.)

Well, now you know. I hope this helps other petites with narrow feet rock those heels.


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