Gel heel pads, compression sleeves, and plush insoles for those times when your feet hurt like hell.
Suffering from heel pain—whether it's due to plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, calluses, or just your favorite pair of high heels—can be the absolute worst. Investing in comfortable shoes that help alleviate foot pain is smart (think: plush footbeds, arch support, and deep heel cups), but being on your feet all day or night can make even the comfiest shoes hurt like hell.
Believe us, you're not alone. Even celebrities suffer from foot pain: Melissa McCarthy recently revealed that she applied a little CBD oil on her toes to combat pain from her heels during the 2019 Oscars. While CBD oil is certainly trendy right now, though, not everyone is on board with the ingredient (it's also not legal in every state).
Preventing heel pain starts with your shoes. When shopping, it's important to look for shoes that have a one-inch heel or wedge rather than ones that are completely flat, says Miguel Cunha, DPM, founder of Gotham Footcare. The reason? Flats actually place more tension on the Achilles tendon—so, believe it or not, a small inch heel is actually better for you than flats if you suffer from heel pain, Dr. Cunha explains.
Another tip? Make sure your shoes have an arch incorporated into their design and that the middle isn't flimsy; if it bends easily, you're not getting adequate support in the arch, which can contribute to heel pain. (Here are some of our favorite sandals with arch support.)
While there are a ton of products out there that can help alleviate heel pain, nothing quite competes with a custom, laser-scanned orthotic, Dr. Cunha tells Health. These orthotics support your feet to help reduce biomechanical imbalances that may lead to plantar fasciitis and subsequent heel pain, he says.
The downside? These custom orthotics can be pricey. If you need a quick or temporary fix for your heel pain that's also affordable, there are over-the-counter products that can help. From gel heel pads to compression sleeves to plush insoles, each of these products will help relieve your heel pain—plus, you can order them all from Amazon.