Fact: We love fancy footwear. Fiction: Cute shoes are worth the pain. (In plain terms, heels that pinch + sweat + walking = ouch.) Here, seven clever ways to pre-treat your feet so you can focus on fashion...not limping.

making heels more comfortable

TAPE YOUR TOES

Put your foldable flats back in your bag: A night in heels shouldn’t mean you have to hobble home. Before going out, tape your third and fourth toes together using nude or clear medical tape (the flexible kind). This helps take pressure off the ball of the foot. (A bit of biology for those who are interested: There’s a nerve right between these two toes, and the tape minimizes any strain.)

spray deodorant feet

SWEAT-PROOF YOUR FEET

Since even the tiniest bit of moisture can cause ankle straps to slip and slide, mist your feet ahead of time with spray deodorant (like this freshly scented aerosol from Dove).

sandpaper on heels  1

SANDPAPER YOUR SOLES

New shoes, no traction? Yeah, we’ve skidded our way across a couple of dance floors ourselves. A simple trick for extra grip: Use a sheet of sandpaper to gently rough up the bottoms of your new heels. We repeat, gently. Don’t go scraping the red off the soles of your Louboutins.

tea bags in shoes  1

TOSS IN TEA BAGS

To kill foot odor, we love this fab double-duty trick: Dry out used tea bags, then place them inside shoes for 24 hours. Your nose (and everyone else’s) will thank you.

ice in shoes1

STRETCH 'EM OUT WITH ICE...

OK, this one's admittedly a little weird but does help break in new pumps that pinch in the toes. Fill plastic baggies with water and smoosh them into the toe box. Put the shoes into the freezer overnight (yes, really). As the water freezes, the baggies will expand and magically stretch out your shoes.

socks in heels

...OR A BLOW-DRYER AND SOCKS

Put on a few pairs of socks (or one thick pair of thick, woolen ones). Next, stuff your feet into the too-tight shoes and aim a hair dryer at any problem areas. Don’t forget to flex as you stretch.

shoe petals

INVEST IN FOOT PETALS

Because a little bit of cushion can go a long way.

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