We asked an expert how to find the perfect, comfortable pair of heels for work

Men, how do you have it so easy? Heels are a constant uphill battle for women (excuse the pun) particularly in the office. On nights out heels aren’t a necessity anymore – but it seems that at work they often are. If everyone else is wearing heels then you don’t want to rock up to that meeting in a pair of Converse now do you? Despite what your feet and energy levels may be calling for. You need to look smart and professional after all…

I wear heels here at the Time Inc office (all the glamazons at Marie Claire, InStyle and Look I salute, envy and attempt to recreate your footwear choices!). Although I do love the added inches in both height and sass, I do resent the fact that heels seem to be an essential outfit requirement when I get home (hobbling, probably) with pretty sore feet.

So I sought out footwear designer, entrepreneur and expert Nanna Liv. I had a big question for her – how can I find the most comfortable pair of heels for work?

Nana has worked with doctors AND scientists to actually develop the world’s most comfortable high heels, so she sure knows her stuff! Her shoe company Sargossa was even recognised at the V&A’s Pain and Pleasure exhibition. Here are the top tips she gave me. Shopping for office footwear needn’t be a struggle anymore!

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Image Credit: Sargossa’s Nanna Liv

1. How to get the perfect fit

Nanna says: “It might seem obvious, but it’s key to remember that the shoe needs to fit your foot and not the other way round. If shoes are too big or too small, it makes walking properly that much more difficult.”

2. A balanced heel is essential. But what is that exactly?

Nanna says: “I highly recommend buying stilettos, which distribute your weight evenly across the shoe. Ideally, a woman’s weight should be distributed from the heel to the forefront of the foot. If the arch of the shoe isn’t aligned properly, it will result not only in sore feet, but also discomfort for your knees, lower back, and create a poor body posture making walking difficult.”

3. Choose quality materials

Nanna says: “Your feet take you through life, so treat them well and do not force them down in a pair of plastic heels! Synthetic materials don’t allow your feet to breathe as well such as a natural fibers and flexible material such as leather. The result can be sweaty feet and even blisters.

Image Credit: Sargossa

Image Credit: Sargossa

4. Open toe shoes are the most comfortable

Nanna says: “I highly recommend open toe heels as much as possible, as they allow your toes to lay in their natural way, without being squeezed on top of each other. It can be hard to find heels which actually make space for your toes. Although pointed heels can look amazingly sexy, they are very restrictive and compress your toes.”

5. You need padding for your whole foot, not just the ball 

A cushioned insole will help to add in comfort when wearing heels. An integrated insole is the best option as this stops the insole taking up unexpected space or falling out of the shoe when you take them off.

List for Life’s verdict: I tried a pair of shoes with a built-in insole and they were SO much more comfortable! My feet felt more cushioned and I could wear a heel height that usually pinched too much after a morning all day without pain! 

Sargossa - Model of the perfect high heel

Sargossa’s model of the perfect high heel (Image Credit: Sargoss)

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Sargossa’s SS16 Starlight Pink Front Heel (Image Credit: Sargossa)

Head over to the Sargossa website here.