Tight Toes. Loose Heels. What to Do?

I bought a pair of designer shoes that fit at the time, but last time I wore them the toes were very tight and the heels were slipping off.  The shoes are black patent leather so the at-home remedy of socks and a blow dryer make me nervous!  Also, I would like to wear a gel insert for under the ball of my foot, but since the shoes are tight at the toes, will the insert be useless? What do you suggest?


Dear Aileen,

My first reaction is to figure out the root cause of this weird development.  The shoes fit, then they became too tight in the front and too loose in the back?  My guesses:  weather changes?  some gremlin switched the shoes?  shift in subcutaneous tissues from your heels to your forefeet?
Let’s forget root cause and go to cure.  The cure for this is a visit to a GOOD, EXPERIENCED shoe repair shop.  Warning, these are an endangered species and need all our support.  For example, whenever we buy new shoes, we should take them to a good shoe repair shop and have small taps put on the outside of the heels, where you might tend to wear down the heel, and on the toe.  For you, for this situation, you will want to show the shoe repair person how the shoe fits on your foot and see if she/he can stretch it in just the right places, and just the right amount of stretch to get it comfortable again.  They have the tools.  Also, while you are there, see if they can suggest something to tighten the heel.  This might be possible if it is a slingback.  However, if it is a closed heel pump, I don’t expect much success from adding those pads that stick to the inside back of the heel.  The best luck is to push your foot back into the heel, and gel pads in front might just do the trick.
Good luck,
The Shoe Lady