Of all the things you'll experience on your wedding day (love, excitement, extreme happiness...), the one feeling that is most definitely not welcome is foot pain. Although it seems inevitable (you are on your feet for eight to 10 hours, after all), there are ways to wear your gorgeous new stilettos and dance in them, too!
Here, podiatrists Dr. Suzanne Levine, founder of Institute Beauté and author of My Feet are Killing Me, and Dr. Rebecca Pruthi, owner of Foot Care of Manhattan, share their best advice on how to take care of your feet on your big day.
Vary Your Heel Size Throughout the Day
"The 'healthiest' heel size is one to two inches," says Levine. "That, of course, doesn't lend itself to the sexiest shoe, so brides that want to walk down the aisle in something taller should bring a lower pair of heels and alternate between them throughout the day. Every three hours or so, make sure you change it up to give your feet a break. Don't wait until your foot's killing you before you ditch the stilettos."
Pick a Shoe That Fits You at the End of the Day
"Dancing plus alcohol plus being on the go all day means that your feet will swell—sometimes even up to half a size larger—by the end of the night," explains Levine. "So when you are trying on shoes for fit, make sure they don't feel too snug, or they'll be even more restrictive by the time your reception starts."
Try on your heels later in the day and make sure they're still comfortable before you commit to them, or get a pair of heels that are a little bit bigger and cushion them with arch supports or padding for the balls of your feet. Another way to deal with swelling is to elevate your feet whenever possible, says Pruthi. "Even taking an anti-inflammatory such as Motrin the morning of your wedding can go a long way in helping with foot swelling."
Avoid Blisters by Keeping Your Feet Dry
Sweaty feet (read: friction) and a tight shoe is a guaranteed recipe for blisters. "Keep the bathroom stocked with a bit of talcum powder or spray deodorant and apply to your feet as needed," says Levine. "If you naturally perspire a lot, try soaking your feet in Epsom salt the morning of your wedding to dry them out a little."
Look for More Supportive Shoes
While the shoe you pick is a matter of personal preference, there are some styles that are a bit more forgiving than others. First, a shoe that is made of natural material, such as leather, is more breathable, says Pruthi. "Anything with a slightly thicker heel gives more support overall and a shoe with a closed back or straps are better at supporting the ankles." And what to avoid? "Stiletto mules, which are the worst types of shoes in terms of support and most likely to cause some kind of injury."