All too many of us know how it feels to have your heel slip out of your shoe as you walk. Thankfully, though, there are a number of ways that you can prevent slippage. Here, we go over some tried and true ways of keeping your heels from slipping out of your shoes.
Why Do Heels Slip?
There’s no single reason that your heels slip out of your shoes. It can happen for many reasons, from the fit of your shoe to the shape of your foot. You need to understand why your heels keep slipping before you can take steps to fix the issue.
1. Size and Shape
When it comes to feet, no two people have exactly the same size and shape. If your shoes are too wide or too long, your heels will inevitably start slipping out of your feet as you move. It’s important to find shoes that fit snugly to help prevent heel slippage. However, you also want to avoid shoes that are too small, as they can cause blistering and cut off proper blood circulation through the feet.
2. Instep Height
The instep is the top portion of your foot, and your shoes should be snug around the area. If you have a low instep, you may have trouble keeping your shoes on your heels unless they’re specifically designed for a flat foot. Shoes with little to no arch support are also prone to moving around as you walk.
3. Arch Support
Alternatively, if your arch is higher than normal, you may have trouble finding shoes that fit comfortably around your feet. People with high arches tend to place stress on the balls of their feet, which can lead to pain and heel slippage. Most shoes don’t have the support or the cushioning to handle higher than average arches.
If you’re wearing shoes with laces, how you tie them can have a significant impact on how well they fit your foot. Loose lacing can cause shoes to slip around, especially in the heel area. It’s crucial to ensure that laces are tight, and if necessary, that you tie a heel lock to keep your shoe snug around your ankles. Here’s a quick video detailing how to make a heel lock:
5. Sweat and Moisture
If your feet are sweaty, they’ll be more prone to slipping around inside your shoe. This is especially true of shoes that have a smooth insole, such as leather dress shoes or closed-toed heels. When your feet are damp, they tend to slide into the toes of your shoe, giving your heel more wiggle room and less support. Shoes with poor ventilation tend to promote moisture buildup and increase the chance of heel slippage.
How to Keep Heels from Slipping Out of Shoes
If you find your heels slipping in a given pair of shoes, the chances are that they offer a poor fit for your feet. The best thing that you can do to keep your footwear in place is to make sure that it fits your feet. When buying new shoes, you need to get a quality pair that’s tailored to your unique foot shape.
1. Know Your Foot Size
When your heels slip from your shoes, it’s often a sign that they’re too big or too wide. If you take the time to figure out your foot size, you’ll have much more success when shopping for new footwear. However, keep in mind that shoe sizes may vary between brands. Many people also tend to wear a different size for heels than flats.
It’s easy to measure the size of your feet using standardized sizing charts. Simply measure from the heel of your foot to the tip of your toe, and then consult a measuring table to convert the value to shoe size. If you don’t see the measurement on the table, look for the next size up on the list.
When measuring, make sure that your foot is completely flat for accuracy. If necessary, you can shift your weight to the ball of your foot to help flatten it out. You should also measure both feet, as many people have slight discrepancies between the two. It’s best to err on the side of caution and search for shoes based on the larger measurement.
Your feet can also change size throughout the course of the day, and so it’s important to try on shoes around the time that you plan on wearing them. If you have a job that keeps you on your feet all day, you may need slightly larger shoes to address swelling and expansion.
There are different standards for the U.S., the U.K., and the E.U. Fortunately, most shoes display all three sizes both inside the shoe and on the box in-store. If you need help measuring your foot or determining your shoe size, many footwear departments have tools to give you an accurate measurement.
2. Stick With Flats, Platforms, and Wedges
Most women who wear high heels know all too well the feeling of their shoe popping off the back of their foot. Many heel designs tend to promote heel slippage, which can make it difficult or even dangerous to walk around.
If possible, it’s best to wear heels that offer plenty of support. Shoes such as stilettos place the majority of your weight on the ball of your foot. This design leaves the heel free to wiggle around. Platforms and wedges, on the other hand, help to level out your foot while still offering the aesthetic benefits of a high heel. This helps to keep your heels safe and snug in your shoes.
Whenever possible, however, flats tend to be the best type of shoe for preventing heel slippage. What’s more, they’re easier to walk in. Flats are also less likely to cause problems such as blistering, back pain, and pain around the ball of the foot.
3. Opt for Closed Toes
While open-toed shoes can help to prevent the buildup of sweat and moisture, they’re also more prone to causing heel slippage than closed-toed shoes. As you go about your day, your feet tend to slide forward, and with no closed barrier, there’s nothing to stop them.
When your feet slide down so far that your toes poke out from the front of your shoes, it creates excess space around the heel. You may find yourself having to constantly readjust your feet to make sure that they don’t slide around in your footwear.
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Improving the Fit of Your Shoe
Sometimes, it’s not possible to find a pair of shoes that fit your feet perfectly. You don’t have to settle for foot pain and heel slippage as you walk, though. You can easily improve the fit of your shoes to ensure that they’re snug around your feet and offer the support that you need.
1. Use Inserts
Most shoes come with a built-in insole, but it rarely offers much cushioning or support. Instead, it’s there for comfort and to help wick away moisture. If the interior of your shoe doesn’t quite fit the shape of your foot, adding a removable insole may solve the issue.
You can find a range of over-the-counter insoles available at just about any pharmacy. Some cover the entire bottom of the shoe. Others, however, target specific areas such as the underside of your heel or the ball of your foot.
You can also go to a specialist and have your feet fitted for custom orthotics. Not only are these designed to keep your feet snug and cushioned inside your shoe, but they can also help to address issues such as chronic foot pain, blistering, overpronation, and supination.
2. Add Heel Grips
Heel grips are similar to removable inserts in that they help to cushion and secure your feet. However, heel grips are specifically designed to address slippage issues. Crescent-shaped foam fits discreetly along the heel of your shoe, tightening the fit and eliminating excess wiggle room. They can also cushion the Achilles area to prevent rubbing and blistering.
Most heel grips come in a single size designed to fit any shoe. They have a sticky back that’s able to adhere to most fabrics, leathers, and other shoe materials. Heel grips also tend to be a cost-effective solution.
Unfortunately, however, heel grips don’t last long. The foam wrinkles and wears quickly, while the back can lose its stickiness in a matter of hours. If you decide to use grips to keep your heels in place, you may want to carry some spares along with you.
3. Stuff the Toes
Sometimes, the issue isn’t with the heel of the shoe, but with the toe. A long or overly wide toe area allows your feet to slip forward, leaving your heel prone to slipping. If you find that an otherwise perfect pair of shoes is too long for your feet, you can always stuff the toe to improve the fit and prevent slippage.
If you’re looking to save money, you can simply fill the toe area with old newspaper, tissue paper, or even a spare pair of socks. However, you may find this solution uncomfortable. Often, homemade shoe fillers can cause the buildup of sweat around the foot. Overstuffing can also lead to discomfort and even blisters.
An alternative to using a DIY stuffing solution is to look for shoe fillers in stores. You can find shoe fillers made of specialized materials such as foam to allow for both airflow and comfort as you wear them. You can find shoe fillers in a variety of sizes to fit any shoe style.
4. Add an Ankle Strap
If the bottom of your shoe doesn’t rest tightly against the underside of your foot, your heel is more likely to slip around. This is especially true of shoes with a loose design such as clogs, mules, or sandals.
Attaching an ankle strap or T-strap to loose shoes can make them more comfortable and help to prevent your heels from slipping. You can loop a piece of fabric around existing shoe straps to create a simple, removable ankle strap, or you can sew a more durable strap on for permanent use.
Read Also: How to Stop Shoes from Rubbing Achilles
Adding More Grip
Even when your shoes fit perfectly, you can still find your heels slipping as you wear them due to other factors such as sweat and moisture or a smooth insole. Adding more grip to the interior can keep your heels from slipping out of your foot, and there are plenty of different methods to try.
1. Spray Your Feet With Hairspray
One of the quickest and easiest ways to give your feet some extra grip is to spray them with hairspray. Most of us already have a can sitting in our bathroom. Even if you don’t, you can find inexpensive hairspray options at most stores.
Hairspray dries and makes your feet sticky, helping to prevent them from sliding around and holding your shoes in place. You can also use it with any shoe style, as it’s a very discreet method of adding grip.
However, you may find having hairspray on your feet to be uncomfortable. Depending on the brand, it may also smell somewhat. This method is also a poor choice if you expect to come into contact with moisture. Even sweat can end up washing your hairspray away, leaving you back at square one.
2. Use Double-Sided Tape
If hairspray isn’t strong enough for you, you can also secure your feet in place by using double-sided sticky tape. While not as discreet as hairspray, this method can still be used with most shoe styles. Even Hollywood icons such as Jessica Alba swear by this method.
You can add tape along the entire length of your shoe, or place it around the heel area if you’re having a problem with slippage. Keep in mind, however, that sticky tape doesn’t tend to last long. Heat, sweat, and wear and tear can cause it to lose its stickiness relatively quickly. If you plan on using tape on your shoes, it’s always a good idea to keep a spare roll handy.
If you don’t want to use hardware sticky tape, you can find specialized fashion tape that’s specifically designed to work with footwear. It keeps its stickiness for longer than regular tape and is usually thinner for a more discreet profile.
3. Wear Tights or Foot Liners
Tights can do much more than keep your legs warm during chilly outings. They can also help to keep your feet in place, preventing heel slippage in shoes such as heels. It’s best to opt for tights with some texture to give you more grip. Pantyhose tend to be slippery and may end up doing more harm than good.
You can find specialized tights that have non-slip soles built into the design to help give them traction against the insole of your shoe. A rough pad on the heel or ball of your foot can help to keep your ankles firmly in place as you walk. Even Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, wear tights with a built-in sole grip.
If you want to keep your legs bare, foot liners can save the same purpose as tights. While they won’t work with all shoe styles, many liners have a low profile around the ankle to make them virtually invisible. In addition to keeping your foot snug, wearing a liner can help to wick away sweat and moisture, further helping to prevent heel slippage.
4. Skip the Skin Treatments
While using oils and lotions on your feet can make the skin smooth and baby-soft, they can also increase your risk of heel slippage. Even if you allow the lotion to dry, it can make your foot slick enough to move around in your shoe. This can be a particular problem if your feet sweat or you have a smooth insole.
While it’s not necessary to ditch the feet treatments completely, you should try to avoid using oils, lotions, moisturizers, or other products on your feet before wearing shoes that are prone to slipping. Instead, reserve your skincare routine before bedtime and allow plenty of time for treatments to set in before slipping on your favorite footwear.
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5. Use Talcum Powder
If your feet are prone to sweating, dusting them with some talcum powder can help to prevent your shoes from slipping as a result. Add a fine layer either directly to your skin, or apply to the inside of your shoe to enhance grip. The powder will also absorb excess sweat and help to reduce the smell. Just make sure to brush or knock away any excess powder.
It can be a pain when your heels are constantly slipping in and out of your shoes and may lead to issues such as blisters, back pain, and more. Fortunately, there are plenty of easy solutions to help keep your feet from sliding around as you go about your day. Making sure that your footwear has a snug fit, and a secure grip can prevent heel slippage and keep your feet comfortable.