The Barre Class Secret to Making Any Pair of Heeled Boots More Comfortable

Photo: Getty Images/different_nata
On a recent Sunday, I rode my bike over to one of my girlfriend's apartments to eat dinner, which was really just an excuse for her to get me and her new boyfriend together, in the hopes that we'd hit it off. Anyone who has participated in this particular new relationship ritual knows it can involve a certain amount of awkwardness that can only occur between two strangers who are trying too hard to convince the other person to like them. (To be clear, I'm talking about me and her boyfriend.) And, understanding this, I was prepared for us to share at least a few uncomfortable silences over the course of the next couple hours. I just didn't think it'd happen before I even entered the house.

As he held the door open while I slipped off my shoes, we both found ourselves staring silently at my feet. You see, beneath my black cowboy boots, I was wearing a pair of bubblegum pink footie socks with the words "be mine" printed across the toes. They were clearly a carryover from Valentine's Day...11 months earlier...and the sock equivalent of being caught wearing your bathing suit instead of real underwear. I could almost see the questions forming behind his furrowed brow and frames: "Is it laundry day?" "Did she lose a bet?" "Is she the idiosyncratic BFF you rarely see outside of Netflix rom-coms?"

As if to answer his unspoken query, I leaned over and lifted one of my feet to show the tiny, rubberized grippy dots covering my soles. Yep, I was wearing barre socks. Embarrassingly out-of-season barre socks, at that—the type that, worn anywhere but at a studio, make people question your style, if not your sanity. Why? Because I've discovered that wearing these non-slip accessories make heels more comfortable.

Grippy socks keep your feet from sliding forward in high heels, which essentially have you standing in relevé for hours.

After years of wearing flats and sneakers pretty much 24/7, I've recently rekindled my relationship with heeled footwear. Only this time, I've learned from the mistakes I made in my 20s: I no longer go for shoes that aren't a good fit for me (no matter how cute they are), I stick to heels that are supportive, and I'm especially unwilling to put myself in painful situations. Hence, my obsession with barre socks.

Honestly, I don't even take barre classes having realized after a handful that I don't, in fact, like doing demi pliés in second position until it feels like my thighs are going to fall off. But I do love that the non-slip socks intended to make such small-muscle movements possible work as well at keeping your feet from sliding forward in shoes that essentially have you standing in relevé for hours. They've helped me, ahem, elevate my footwear game in a healthy way.

Now that you know how to make heels more comfortable, here's how to deal with the dreaded front butt high-waisted jeans can create

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