I Can Never Wear High Heels

I can never wear high heels like these pink heels

I can never wear shoes like these pink heels! | Source: Shutterstock

I was fifteen and walking around barefoot when my boyfriend looked down, was startled, then exclaimed, “You never told me you had flat feet!” Prior to this, I hadn’t been aware that anyone needed to be alerted to this detail about me, but soon after that, it actually started becoming an issue (although the boyfriend learned to deal with it).

My feet started to hurt. A lot. I went on vacation with my family and my feet started hurting so much when we were walking around that I’d have to be left on a bench. I had to go to a doctor and had custom insoles for my shoes made – which made me feel like an old lady. They helped, but since I had to wear them all the time, I couldn’t wear high heels or strappy sandals like other girls, even some sneakers were off limits.

And when my friends wanted to go shoe shopping for fun, I’d be the only one not to take home an amazing pair of new kicks. Basically? I was wearing orthopedic shoes in high school. In college, I wore Converse a lot because I was dying to look at least a smidge cooler, but standing for lengths of time in them was painful, not just to my feet, but aching would spread up my legs and back.

flat feet can't wear high heels like these black strappy heels

Are these really worth the pain?! | Source: Shutterstock

Finding shoes became – and still is – an ordeal. It’s not just high heel shoes I can’t wear. I walk sadly past sneakers, flats, boots, even plain old sandals, knowing that they aren’t wide enough and I’ll end up with blisters. I frequently try on a shoe and remove it as soon as it’s on because I know I’m going to end up in pain after a few steps. Buy shoes online without trying them on? Yeah right! Sometimes I’ll find a cute, seemingly-harmless flat that fits, and upon checking myself out in the mirror, see it’s stretched out wide, reminding me of my grandma’s feet. Back on the shelf it goes. I have to admit, there are moments when I envy girls who can pick out the cutest, highest shoes from Zappos and call it a day.

That said, there are some days I’m kind of glad I have an excuse not to wear crazy torture devices on my feet like some girls do. I often see this one girl I know practically limping, with Band-Aids on the backs of her ankles. When I ask what happened, she always says she went dancing (or did something else) in sky-high heels. When I’d ask why on earth she wore such debilitating shoes, she’d answer that they were cute. Well … ok, sure, but me being able to walk around comfortably beats your poor injured feet, despite my lack of fashion! I was forced to give up on heels eons ago, and while some of my outfits might look cuter with ’em, I also never find myself with cuts on my feet or having to carry around my shoes because I couldn’t stand in them anymore. Plus? It’s so hard to find a pair of shoes that I like and that fit that I’m guaranteed to never blow all my cash on new shoes like some of my friends. I’ll keep my flats and you can keep your blisters. These crazy flat feet may not be pretty but who cares how good you look when you can’t even walk?!

Do you wear high heels? Are your feet wide, long, flat, or weird like mine? Tell me all about it in the comments!

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Posted in: Your Body
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  • Tanya

    I can relate to your problem.I also have flat feet.I have Alot of heel pain and my knees are now starting have pain as well,I cant stand for long periods of time,I wish I could wear flip flops or pretty sandals in the summer,I tried that before,people stare and my family teases me and calls me sasquatch or pancake feet.I gave up on.high heels long ago Iusually stick to sneakers these days,or old lady shoes to church.I just finally accepted the way my feet.but I could do without the pain tho.I usually buy heel inserts for my shoes,it helps a little.

  • Anjana

    I’m Anjana, from India. :)
    I realized that I had flat feet at a pretty young age when my aunt exclaimed, “Your feet don’t have arches!” Yep, that hurt. But then, when I took my Granma to the orthopaedic for her monthly check-up, the doctor confirmed my worst fears- I had flat feet.
    My doctor recommended the orthopaedic slippers and girls, that is SO much worse than sandals or shoes. Its hereditary and honestly, I hate that my feet hurt when I wear flats or heels.
    I learned to embrace what I have, honestly. And knowing that there are people out there who have the same kind of problem and dealing with it graciously keep me going.
    Kudos to you!

  • Madeline walsh

    Hi im maddi im 19 live in brisbane australia . I have the flatest feet ever my feet literally look like pancakes ! They r extremely skinny and im a size 10 .. I am absolutly mortified of my feet i go to the city and i can just feel people staring at my feet i end up going home in tears . I struggle so much finding mice shoes i literally own none .. My family always jokes around saying that i alway wear the same shoes and that they are falling apart .. But they all have a arch in their feet and do not understand that they r comfy .. I hate getting ready with friends i hate my feet i wish i could cut them off and get new ones :(

  • dj

    I feet are wide, long and flat, I ware a size 11. when i am lucky enough to find a shoe that is in my size and are wide enough . they usually cost to much money. oh and i have big legs too so boot are really hard to come by i would love nothing more then a pair of knee high boots that fit. I felt a little better when I learn that Michelle Obama wares a size 12, ( we are not along) I would love to know where she gets her shoes form !

  • Mack

    I have flat feet that are also wide. Wearing heels is such a pain, but, I feel sexy when I wear them with a really nice outfit! I usually have to take them off before an hour passes, but that’s okay. I recently bought this really (as my Nana says) Sharp pair of heels. I know that when I decide to wear them, my feet will scream out in pain, but, I love the way I look in them. Life is still about give and take when you have different feet! Lol.

  • Kim

    I feel your pain. Most heels kill and cause audible popping noises in my ankle and eventually tendinitis so I stick to Crocs’ Mammoth line which are cuter than the regular ones and soft/bouncy. I’m getting Birkenstock insoles soon too.

  • Oktria

    Me too. I have a flat feet. I can’t choose my favourite shoes. I can’t wear flat shoes again. I love flat shoes. But my sisters and the doctor always told me to wear running shoes. I know its for my health but i feel so sad.

  • Shannon

    i have had the same issues since I was in my early twenties. I really like Orthaheels. They have a really strong arch and even though they seem like they’d be uncomfortable, my feet feel great at the end of the day. I haven’t tried the actual heels yet (I wear the flats at work every day) but I’m planning to buy a pair for an upcoming wedding.

  • Krista

    Hmm. Odd. I have extremely flat feet & for that reason flats kill my feet. Heels are so much more comfortable for me because they make me feel like I have an arch. The higher the better actually! I wear all types of shoes with my flat foot. The only shoes I can’t wear are my flats lol

  • Anna

    I don’t know if it helps you now, but I have awful flat feet, too. I’ve found that IRREGULAR CHOICE shoes are comfortable, though. I have a pair of their “longer lashes” boots, and i’ve just shoved in a pair of insoles in them, either the normal cushioned ones or the ones with slight arch support from ebay, and I can wear them all day and all night. I’ve also found that sky-high heels, as long as they have a platform on the front, don’t hurt as bad as other ones.

  • Jami

    I’m getting married this coming august. I’m only 5’3″ with flat feet. Although my dress will cover my feet, I want to wear some sort of a small heel. Any recommendations?

    • Emily

      Naot shoes are expensive but like walking on clouds they’re so comfortable!

  • Claudia

    Thanks to a bad orthopedist and bad orthopedic shoes that I used when I was little, I’m stuck with ONE flat foot and ONE high-arched foot. Meaning I have to use cushions on the high-arched one to make it fit the size of the flat one. To make things worse, my feet are really small and wide (size 34, I think it’s 4.5-5 in USA) so most of the time, shoes just don’t fit me and I have to look on the kids section. Trying to wear more than a 5 cm heel means lots of pain and lots of falls. I even feel pain and fall with some sneakers. I’d love to use heels, I’m not even 5 feet tall and when I try high heels I feel like my short legs are longer. I’ve tried with wedges and flats but they still hurt quite a bit so I’m stuck with short, square heels because those are the ones I can somehow tolerate, sadly it seems today is either monster heels or flats and I can’t use neither :(.