How to Avoid Blisters, Even Though We Know Better Than to Go Out in New Shoes *Wink*

(No, we don't.)

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Having to sideline yourself because your feet hurt has got to be the most humiliating secret party foul, sadder even than a spilt drink you paid for yourself. It's like a reverse internal monologue in which you go "Keep raging" and the Dark Kermit side of you says "Sit down like a weakling with no friends and a low pain threshold." But the paaiinn, MOOOMMM, on the inside *and* the outside. So how do you pass the endurance test that are shoes like these...

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Even though they make perfectly lovely evening flats and going out in Vans low-tops is more fun anyway because then you can jump playground fences at 4 a.m. to get to the swings?

The key is prevention, says Dr. Jackie Sutera, podiatrist and Vionic Innovation Lab member, which means you definitely cannot expect to roll up in a pair of new fur-trimmed sandals and stay upright and blister-free past the second time they play "(I've Had) the Time of My Life."

"The best advice I can give is to wear new shoes at home for short periods of time before wearing them all day," Dr. Sutera says. "This gives you a chance to notice any sensitive spots and also allows the shoe to 'give' a little bit. I do not encourage people to 'break in' shoes. They should fit well at the store, and if they don't, don't buy them! But new shoes are always a bit stiff/tight, so wearing them a little while at a time definitely helps. If you do have sensitive spots, pad them with moleskin, or bandaids."

(American Ballet Theatre's Kathryn Boren, FYI, opts for 2nd Skin dressings and Epsom-salt soaks.)

And should your efforts somehow fail because who's got the time to do a trail run, DO NOT PULL OR CUT OFF THE SKIN. Keep it covered and antibiotic-ed, and just choose another pair of vertiginous, torturous heels that rub different places. Beauty is pain. Pain means you're alive. Alive means you can keep partying. Let's go.

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