Here's the thing, even before I had a deep and abiding fear of neuropathy in my feet I've been a giant baby about shoes. I may seem so tough and positive, but I'm truly a whiny, pathetic monster when it comes to shoe inflicted pain - something shocking to most people because my other pain tolerances are off the charts. I also fall apart because of paper cuts, but that's a story for another day. Maybe I have especially sensitive hands and feet, maybe I am actually just a wuss. Either way I've learned how to make shoes with heels comfortable enough for a night of standing and talking (still can't dance or walk long distances in them, not sure I ever will.)
1. Quality is important. Cheap shoes always hurt - nice shoes with real leather are designed in a way that makes them ultimately more comfortable and wearable. For this I rely on The Real Real, which boasts an impressive selection of affordable designer footwear that usually comes in pristine condition (much to my chagrin - I wouldn't mind if they were broken in for me!)
2. Platforms always. Then you get that stunning appeal of a high heel, but at a less severe angle to relieve pressure on the ball of the foot.
3. Insoles are totes worth it. I like these ones a lot, they are great for people like me with high arches and sweaty feet. Just a slight adjustment in the angle of the foot can make a huge difference in how weight is distributed throughout the foot pad, ankle, calf and even your back.
4. They make pain relief lotions for your feet. And they kind of work - not for severe pain but for a little soreness or aching.
5. Blisters are preventable. A little smudge around the feet before you slip into your shoes can prevent blisters (see previously referred to sweaty feet) before they start. Once they come there is nothing I can do for you.
6. You can always bring a change of shoes.