The Hot High Heel Debate: Regular Large Shoe Brands Versus Large Size Designer Shoes

  • SumoMe

Jimmy Choo advert featuring the killer heel.

There is something so sexy about a high heel, but when it comes down to it, which are more comfortable? Large size designer shoes or regular large shoe brands? Some women swear by designer heels for all day, all night comfort, while for some the designer myth is just perpetuated to help us justify spending our rent money on their shoes! So what’s the scoop?

On the one hand, large size designer shoes may use better quality materials and the design may offer better support for the feet. But on the other hand, when form takes over function, as can sometimes happen when shoes are designed with an eye for trends rather than comfort, then you could be stuck walking out of that party barefoot. Again.

It’s difficult to test the theory fairly of course because no two shoes from different brands are exactly the same. I have had some Valentinos that killed my feet and the others I could walk a mile in. The trick is to stick to a few tried and tested rules for buying heels, no matter whether you choose to splurge on large size designer shoes or exercise some credit card control with the regular large shoe brands.


How to Choose the Best High Heel Shoes for Feet

It is said that the safest heel height is between 2 and 2.5 inches. Higher than that throws your whole body weight forward and exerts up to 7 times more pressure on your foot. Ironically, smaller heels can be just as uncomfortable as those hot high heels.

Technically, the problem doesn’t lie with the heel height, but with the sole under the ball of your foot and how much padding there is between your foot and the ground. A good tip for wearing high heels is to make sure the shoe also has a platform built in. It lessens the net height of the heel and also reduces the angle your foot is on. A 3 inch heel with a 0.5 inch platform means a net heel height of just 2.5 inches. Your foot will be cushioned and balanced by the platform and your back, knees and hips will thank you.


How High is Too High?

It depends. If you think you might fall off or you can’t walk naturally (clumping, weaving & teetering are a no-no – a sexy swagger is fine) then yes, they’re too high.


Features to Avoid

  • Pointy-toed shoes or any shoe shapes that squeeze your feet
  • Non-breathable or man-made uppers
  • Inflexible soles on the shoe i.e. they don’t bend where your foot naturally bends
  • Shoes with thin soles and minimal padding between your foot and the floor. Tip: Test a shoe by pressing a finger where the ball of your foot or arch would be. If there’s enough padding, your finger print should spring back.
  • No arch support
  • No heel support.


Where to Find Comfortable High Heel Shoes for Big Feet


Regular Big Shoe Brands with Comfortable Heels

There are some great big shoe brands who offer hot high heels that are less likely to kill your feet, because so much attention is paid to the comfort of the shoe. A few we like include:



Rockport makes its high heels with sports technology from Adidas called Adiprene, which absorbs the shock of every step, and provides cushioning for your sole. We adore the tied Mary Jane shoe with its exotic print.

Presia Tied Mary Jane

Available up to size 11



Naturalizer makes rubber soled high heel shoes with sturdy heels for balance and comfort, extra cushioning, and flexible soles. We love the modern retro interpretation in the styling of the Baila below.

Naturalizer Baila (Women’s) – Modern Grey/Inky Navy Fellini Leather

Available up to size 12


Aerosoles high heels shoes are designed to be comfortable, cute, and reasonably priced. They feature flexible soles for shock-absorption and cushioning on the footbed. The playful Sweet Escape adds a punch of colour and gold detailing to a classic shoe shape.

Aerosoles Sweet Escape (Women’s) – Blue Suede

Available up to size 12


And if you want to splurge on your big shoe collection and add some comfortable designer heels……

Large Size Designer Shoes with Comfortable Heels

Cole Haan

Cole Haan shoes take shoe innovation to the next level. Shoes feature injected insoles and TPU forefoot for extra stability and elasticity in the front of your foot. Nike AIR technology in forefoot and heel, and a fully padded lining make sure you get great added comfort.

Cole Haan – Chelsea OT Pump (Maple Sugar Suede/Patent)

Available up to size 12


Salvatore Ferragamo
Ferragamo has been making beautifully comfortable shoes for decades and also offers a range of widths for some shoe styles. We love the glorious color of the Tina pump.

Salvatore Ferragamo – Tina (Charcoal)

Available up to size 11


Jimmy Choo
Jimmy Choo is a master in the art of stilettos, and puts significant thought into the comfort of the women wearing the shoes. We love the India (Yes we know it’s got no heel support!).












Jimmy Choo India Sandal – Champagne
Available up to size 13


Want to add more designer shoes in large sizes in your big shoe collection?

Get our Guide to shopping designer celebrity shoes for women with big feet


Have you found other larger size shoe brands with unbelievable comfortable heel? Let us know! 


Featured image credit:

The Hot High Heel Debate: Regular Large Shoe Brands Versus Large Size Designer Shoes was last modified: October 30th, 2014 by isybshoes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>