High heels are always in style, no matter the season. But that doesn’t mean they’re easy to wear — or practical — when there are five inches of snow on the ground.
Depending on the width and type of heel you’re sporting, high heels can be downright detrimental to your health in the winter. At the same time, few shoe options exist that can instantly lengthen your leg and make every outfit you wear look 100 times more professional. For that reason, many of us are reluctant to store our heels on a shelf in our closet in November and not look at them again until April.
Shoe fanatics needn’t give up on their favorite style yet: Here are six ways to winterize your high heels so that they’re safer on slippery streets and make it to spring in one piece — as well as ideas on how to look sophisticated while (temporarily) ditching the highest stilettos you own.
1. Shop for wider heels
Long, thin heels or kitten heels are bound to be wobbly on icy surfaces. A better option when temperatures drop is to invest in a quality pair of wedge heels or booties or Mary Jane or slingback heels that feature a thicker heel. If you must wear pumps, consider carrying them in a bag or leaving a pair at your desk and wearing boots or sneakers for your commute.
2. Give heels traction with grip pads
Non-slip grip pads are affordable, easy to slip onto your heels or the soles of your shoes and are a surefire way to keep you from falling down on the street. For a more long-term solution, consider bringing your favorite heels to a shoe cobbler, who can attach a more sturdy padding beneath your heels.
3. Wear galoshes over your heels
High heel protection from the elements isn’t all about safety. Rain and snow can ruin a great pair of leather or suede pumps. Here’s an interesting solution: PYSIS Posh Galoshes can actually be worn over your high heels to protect them until you reach your final destination. Added bonus: They’re super chic and cute.
4. Clean your leather heels regularly
They’re going to need it if you’re wearing them in snowy, rainy conditions. A product like Leather Honey, which is specifically designed to clean leather shoes, can help prolong the life of your heels, which take a beating in the wintertime.
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5. Choose leather heels over synthetics materials
Interesting fact: Leather shoes allow your feet to breathe, which actually helps keep them warm when it’s cold outside. Those made from synthetic materials are not ideal in frigid temperatures because they won’t protect your feet as well.
6. Waterproof your leather heels before you go out
You wouldn’t hit the soggy streets without a raincoat or jacket, so why are your shoes any different? You can waterproof your leather heels or boots before you go out by treating them with a product like Frye Leather Conditioning Cream, which will help keep your shoes in tip-top shape.