I Absolutely Hate Wearing High Heels, But These $9 Cushions Make Them Bearable

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Ball of Foot Metatarsal Cushions | $9 | Amazon
Ball of Foot Metatarsal Cushions | $9 | Amazon
Graphic: Shep McAllister

In the words of Amanda Bynes, a la She’s The Man, “Heels are a male invention designed to make women’s butts look smaller ... and to make it harder for them to run away.” But seriously, I hate high heels and how much they hurt to wear. I can get away with wearing little ankle booties, and I can even rock a pair of thigh-high boots with a thick heel. But a pair of pumps? My mortal enemy.

I’m 28, though, which means just about everyone I know is getting married, and for the most part, I always wear heels to a wedding and wind up taking them off halfway through the night. This isn’t an uncommon practice among the women I know, but it can be dangerous, as I learned the hard way. At a wedding last year, a groom stepped on my bare foot so hard while he was dancing, I ended up with a bruise in the shape of his dress shoe.

After that debacle, I was determined to stay in my heels all night at the next wedding I attended. But in order to make that happen, I needed to find something to help with the instant, throbbing pain I feel in my feet anytime I slip into a pair. My mom, who is a genius, suggested I find a pair of metatarsal cushions to wear, so I hopped on Amazon in search of the cheapest pair with solid good reviews. I wanted something affordable, but I wasn’t going to settle for something that had less than 4 stars.

I settled on Ball of Foot Metatarsal Cushions from Temiart for $5 (though they are now a little more expensive). Metatarsal cushions are designed to help support your transverse arch, a.k.a. the arch that is right below the ball of your foot. The pair I ordered are made using a soft gel, and they’re are reusable—this was key f0r me since I attend so many weddings.


According to the website description, these pads can also help with “fat pad atrophy, metatarsalgia, neuromas, burning Sensations at the ball of the foot, cushioning calluses and bunion pain.” Many reviewers wrote that the pads didn’t leave a residue, which was also a concern of mine, as I have had adverse reactions to some adhesives. Thankfully, I can confirm that these do not leave behind any stickiness and are so easy to put on.

So, I stuck the cushions onto the balls of my feet prior to my next wedding, doing my very best to mimic the picture on the box (which is also the photo on Amazon). I had them on from around 4 p.m. until roughly 1:30 a.m. Were my feet totally without pain? No. But my feet weren’t absolutely dying by the end of the night, and I didn’t feel a clawing sensation to rip my shoes off. I know for a fact that I would not have survived the ordeal without these little cushions.

Ball of Foot Metatarsal Cushions are now my go-tos when I have to wear heels. I’ve even ordered a second pair—not because they stopped sticking, but because I lost one cushion after a night out!