Shoes for narrow heels
May 16, 2018 11:06 AM   Subscribe

My feet have narrow heels (AA). But the front of my foot is a normal width. Does anybody have women's shoe recommendations. In winter, I can get away with boots. But in the summer, ballet flats typically don't fit. I also walk a lot, and the few shoes that fit wear quickly (especially since I sometimes buy a half size down to deal with the heel issue). Summer shoe recommendations please.

Sandle recommendations welcome. I have chacos but the straps are never comfortable. Sneaker recommendations also welcome. I had been wearing oboz but it looks like they did away with their joggers.
posted by Kalmya to Shopping (7 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I have feet like this, too. I have found that European shoes in general fit me better than American shoes. For sandals, I like some of the Dansko and Sanita offerings such as this and this.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 11:11 AM on May 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

I have narrow feet with even narrower heels. I always stick the little adhesive foam or gel heel liner things in my ballet flats and it helps a lot.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 11:17 AM on May 16, 2018

Naturalizer used to make shoes so that the heel was a narrower size than the ball of the foot. It's been years since I bought any. I also have narrow heels and the dress shoes I bought from them stayed on nicely.
posted by yohko at 11:36 AM on May 16, 2018

I have narrow heels and wear orthotics that tend to push my heels out of many flats, but have found a line at Payless that fit well and are also comfortable to walk in. I think the elastic sides are what does the trick.
posted by PaulaSchultz at 12:24 PM on May 16, 2018

Ugh, this is the worst. Someone once told me to look for flats with higher backs. That has helped my searches. I have had good luck with Clarks Blanche Cacee.

I personally don't care for the type of shoe with the elastic around the edge, I find it just makes the back dig in to me. But a lot of people love them.

I have some very comfortable Sofft sandals. I think the ones I have, Valmont, are discontinued, but the Vanita looks very similar. They are very comfortable and live up to their name for sure.

I use those adhesive foam gel pads in the back of flats and they help a bit. Another trick is to put them in the front under the top. Similarly, you can buy tongue pads for sneakers that will keep your foot from sliding forward--I use these in my running shoes.

Not sure if by sneakers you mean street shoes or athletic shoes. For street shoes, I wear Converse and they fit comfortably. For working out, I finally went to a real athletic shoe store last year and got proper fitting athletic shoes and man, what a difference! They also showed me a way to lace my shoes (I use on all my street and athletic shoes) called the Marathoners Lace that has been awesome—my feet feel so much more secure in my shoes.
posted by radioamy at 1:20 PM on May 16, 2018 [2 favorites]

I have this exact foot shape. Flats just slide right off my heels with every step and drive me crazy. The only flats I have ever found that don't need an ankle strap to stay on my foot are Rothys. I have a black pair of the pointed ones - I honestly adore them. They broke in very easily; they look very clean, professional, and modern; best of all they STAY ON MY FOOT. They're made of a tough women material that wears like iron - I tend to kill flats by eventually poking a toe through them or wearing the heel away from the inside (probably due to slipping out of them). These are showing no signs of wear in either area. They're washable, too, so I wear them without socks and just toss them in the wash when they start to get a bit summer-sweaty.
posted by DSime at 3:21 PM on May 16, 2018 [2 favorites]

This is me! I also wear a smaller-than-typical size and have a weirdly shaped achilles heel so higher-backed shoes that curve in at the top will give me terrible blisters.

In the past I've made ballet flats work with heel cushion pads, but really my feet are just not meant to wear ballet flats. But I've had good luck with a flat slip-on shoe with a *higher vamp*, e.g. slip-on oxfords or slip-on sneakers. (Obviously you can get those in lace-up styles too, but part of what I love about ballet flats is the slip-on ease.)

In sandals, similarly, you want to look for straps that go across your arch and NOT just across the back of your heel. I have a few pairs of Ecco sandals that work, although they tend to run a bit wide overall. But the strap placement and soft leather means that it doesn't matter if the heel is a bit loose -- my foot stays in and I've never gotten blisters, despite very much blister-prone heels. I also like the fit of Munro, although the style is a bit classic for my taste.

Sneakers: I finally tried on a pair of Nike Flyknit sneakers, the kind with a knit topper and slip-on style. OMG, they are the lightest and best-fitting sneakers I've ever worn, plus the only kind that I've been able to wear barefoot without rubbing. Because the upper is stretchy, it actually hugs my heel very tightly. I even went with the larger of my two typical shoes and that was the right choice.

FYI, if you ever have to buy proper hiking shoes... don't bother with low-cut hiking sneakers, go straight to the boot style with ankle support. I don't need the support but I went through multiple pairs of sneaker-style hiking shoes and lost a toenail from heel slippage before I gave in (the ankle supports can be laced tightly to keep your heel in place).
posted by serelliya at 9:29 AM on May 17, 2018 [2 favorites]

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