Surviving Heels: How they do it at the Oscars

How many times have you donned your heels for a night out and wanted to amputate them a few hours in?

Then imagine how it will feel for all the women at the 84th Academy Awards today when they walk the red carpet?

Imagine squeezing your feet into your Louboutins in the limousine, and then teetering down 500 feet of red shag pile, smiling and gleaming all the way?

500 feet = 152.4 meters = ‘about the lower limit of a skyscraper’ according to Wikipedia.

No wonder heels are sometimes called skyscrapers.

But that’s the easy part.

They say, on average, the awards go for 4 hours. Mercifully for the attendees, that’s four hours sitting down.

But, you don’t ever see the movie stars with their shoes kicked off, feet comfortably tucked under their bottoms, snuggled into the seats munching Doritos do you? No. They are all sitting upright. Backs straight. Legs crossed. For. Four. Hours.

Then, it’s off to the Governors Ball, and multiple after parties, often ending with a cheeseburger at IN-n-OUT Burger.

I’ll bet by then – at least 8 hours later – those shoes have been tossed on the floor of the limo, and the fluffy slippers that were custom made for this very purpose are gently slipped on.

And while we probably agree that Oscars day is a nightmare for Gwyneth Paltrow’s poor alabaster feet, at least she’s got that limo to ferry her around, and the awesome glow of her entire outfit to bask in.

Gwyneth Paltrow = Perfection at the 2012 Academy Awards


For the rest of us, a little pre-planning before wearing our heels could go a long way. Here’s some advice we gleaned from the experts:


5 tips for surviving a night out in your ‘skyscrapers’:

1. Pick Platforms.

The added height of the sole will keep the balls of your feet further from the pavement, reducing impact.


2. Wear them in.

The women at the Oscars are probably all wearing new shoes, given to them on the day by their stylist, which may, or may not be the right size.

Be grateful – for once – that you are not walking in their shoes, and take the time to wear your heels in, before you take them out to play.

Fab shoes, pity they’re too small! Eva Herzigova’s suffering toe-overhang on the red carpet at Cannes. Pic: Getty Images

3. Don the armour.

Add strategic padding to your shoes at the key touch points to protect your feet from blisters.

The Black Iris – Stiletto Survival Kit by Foot Petals is packed with all the equipment you will need, for $45.


4. Pack fold-up flats.

Slimline ballet flats that slip into your purse will be a lifesaver for when the going gets too tough.

You can pick these up for under $30 at most shoe stores, or there are various options online.


5. Prepare for pain.

A glass of water and a couple of pain tablets waiting for you on your bed side table for when you get home is not a bad idea.

Choose tablets that contain Ibuprofen, such as Nurofen or Advil, as these will reduce swelling too.

May be handy the morning after also, if you accidentally had a few too many glasses of bubbles…


What are your tips for surviving a long innings in high heels? 

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