Amazing new shoes that ache the minute you put them on is an especially harsh blow (so pretty but, ugh, so painful!). Breaking them in is the obvious solution, and nothing beats a how-to from someone who knows. The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ Erika Girardi has a technique to share, and it’s worth listening to the wisdom she’s accumulated—not only is she a dressed-to-the-nines reality star, but also a dancer with stage cred who busts a move in custom thigh-high boots from Andre No. 1, the same brand that has outfitted Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, and, hello, Madonna. (For those who didn’t watch this season, her stage persona is Erika Jayne, a saucy blonde who’s racked up some No. 1 spots on Billboard‘s dance music charts).
The trick? “Put rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball, and apply it to the part of your feet where the shoes will rub or pinch—anywhere on your foot where the shoe feels tight. Then put your shoes on,” a Louboutin-shod Girardi explained when we got a chance to talk to her last month (a convo that, brilliantly, included leggings and the fashion essentials she always buys at Target). Wearing the slightly dampened shoes will allow the material to stretch and accommodate your foot’s shape and size, resulting in a more custom fit once dried. Keep in mind that the trick will only work on natural leather, not synthetic, so it’s not a sure thing for every shoe in your closet.
If you’re looking at a long day on your feet, Girardi shared another trick she relies on when performing or rehearsing. “If I’m shooting [a music video] I’ll have a bucket of ice water nearby. I’ll take my shoes off, dunk my feet into it and keep them there for 10 or 15 seconds. It’ll help you go for a couple more hours,” she said. The issue, per Mrs. Girardi, with pulling off your heels for a quick break is that you run the risk of your freed feet swelling up, making it nearly impossible to put your shoes back on. OK if you’re at home, not so much otherwise.
Shoes a little too tight? Try this trick.