Sometimes in order to get the fashion look you want, you have to suffer a little. One look at my mangled feet pretty much says it all… and it ain’t pretty! Day to day I generally wear flats (although that certainly wasn’t the case for a few years) but getting dressed up for the races or an occasion means I’ve gotta strap some heels on my feet.


I’ve started gathering bits and pieces to wear for spring carnival and my latest acquisition is an eye watering 17cm tall pair of high heels. Admittedly there is a platform at the front, but they still put my feet at a rather uncomfortable angle. As much as I know I’ll want to cut my feet off after a spending a day at the races in them, it simply must be done.

High heels simply make everything look better. Outfits look complete with the extra height and balance out my hats. Unlike other ‘how to dress for the races’ articles which suggest wearing a sensible heel, perhaps even wedges or *gasp* a kitten heel, I’m going to tell you how to last a little longer in those beautiful high heel horrors that you simply must have.

1. Try new shoes on around the house. Pay special attention to any spot that rubs or pinches. Make sure you can walk in your shoes. If not, now is the time to learn.

2. Pre-event foot preparation. This is a bit gross but don’t get rid of every last callous on your feet. They will save you later. Keep your nails short and tidy. Nail polish is a must if your toes will be seen and if you’re not sure what colour to paint them, you can’t go wrong with a neutral shade.

3. Shoe preparation. On the places your shoes felt like they would rub cut off small pieces moleskin padding (you can buy this at a chemist) and stick them inside your shoes. Alternatively there are small gel spots that do the same job. If your shoes have the room inside use party feet or thin insoles to alleviate pain on the balls of your feet. Finally if your shoes rub on the heel or slip a little for closed back shoes use leather heel grips- they are much more comfortable than the gel versions.

Some of things I have to survive in high heels

Some of things I have to survive in high heels


4. On the day foot prep. Do not moisturise your feet. Any moisture on your feet will help cause blisters. If you’re wearing sandals swipe moisturiser just on the parts of your feet that stick out of your shoe- you still want your feet to look nice. Any place that your shoes rub your toes wrap them in medical tape where it can’t be seen ( I use Elastoplast in the red roll package ). If you aren’t wearing hosiery I highly recommend Bama silky feet spray. This reduces friction and give the feeling of wearing fine stockings on your feet. If you’re wearing shoes that allow it, wear padded footlets. There are half foot versions and ones for wearing with a peep toe.

Padded footlets- great if you don't like wearing full hosiery

Padded footlets- great if you don’t like wearing full hosiery

Now that’s pretty much everything you can reasonably do to prepare. If you know it’s going to be really painful still, on the day take a coordinating pair of lower heels and pop them in the cloak room as a back up. Also put some painkillers and band aids in your purse.

If all else fails, you’re struggling to make it through to the last race and extra champagne isn’t helping anymore I will confess to having kicked off my shoes. This is a last resort and must be saved for the most extreme circumstances. If you go down this shameful path you must be sure there are no cameras around you and that the people around you have had too much to drink to notice. If you’re going to back to back race days I have learnt to ice my feet in-between, and that the feeling will return to my toes after a few weeks.

By Angela