Wearing a pair of high heels can sometimes feel like a cross between torture and walking a runway with a ceremonial sashay. You love how stylish your feet look and how your shoes complement your outfit, but good gosh, it hurts!

Unless you get a chance to rest your aching tootsies, you’ve got to come up with a few ways to cope with being in heels for hours. You may have your tricks already, like taping your toes together or using shoe inserts, but it doesn’t hurt to have a backup plan or two.

For those who rock heels on a regular basis and suffer because of it, the tips in this video could help. Your back, spine, and feet will thank you!

  1. Get Good, Thick Soles

    Cork or raffia soles are recommended as they provide more of a cushion than those made of wood. When walking around in your wedges and platform shoes, pain could be avoided or alleviated with the right soles.

  2. Strap Up

    Stilt-like heels can throw off your balance when standing or walking for long periods of time. Ankle straps help to keep the foot secure on high-heeled shoes, giving the ankle and calf some stability when moving in them. Straps can also prevent your foot from sliding around in the shoes, which is useful if you’re prone to blisters.

  3. Right Material

    There are all sorts of hacks out here to help you stretch out your shoes in a bid to counter the tightness and friction they cause. Ice and blow dryer tricks are options, but how about buying shoes made with stretchable materials?

    Soft leathers, nylons, suedes and special synthetics can offer the give you need in a high heel to accommodate swelling and your unique foot shape. You want to be able to bend and shift as you need to in your cute pumps!

Keep watching this video to learn more ways to keep your feet comfy while balancing in your high heels. Some podiatrists suggest going up a half size to allow yourself some wiggle room when wearing heels. Look for shoes with padded footbeds that add extra comfort or go for shoes that are constructed with a rounded toe.

Another tip? Shop for shoes midday or in the evening after you’ve been on your feet for a while and they’re a bit swollen. Get the proper measurements and walk in them to test for pinching, arch pain, or toe discomfort. And definitely double check the width! You may not realize that you should try to go for a wider design.

Besides giving your feet a break and switching between heel height sizes, spend time stretching your feet, ankles, and calf muscles. Flex your heels and ankles to aid in strengthening those muscles and balancing your gait. And pack a secret pair of those foldable ballet flats. You’ll be glad you did!

How many times have you suffered in your high heels? Which of these tips will you try? Do you know any other foot-saving techniques?