Dan Michaels, DPM, explains that the primary reason heels hurt is because your foot is sliding forward too much or the design isn't properly shaped to your foot. When you're shopping for special occasion heels (like prom, homecoming, or a wedding), you'll want to try on each potential pair to ensure that they're the correct size and fit for hours of dancing. Dr. Michaels suggests wearing your heels around your house for at least 30 minutes before heading out.
"If possible, try and avoid wearing any new heel for more than one hour continuously for the first wear," she notes. "If that works, increase the wearing by an hour each time, slowly working up to 4 to 5 hours." Breaking in your heels gradually will help minimize any long-term damage (such as permanent and irreversible bone growths, like bunions), which Dr. Michaels explains usually comes from new, non-tested heels being worn for more than 4 hours straight without back-up flats.