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This story first appeared in the February 5, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Slush, salt and far-flung shows are no match for the fashion set and their footwear. Here’s how they do it.

1. Walk tall and carry a big bag. All the better to hide alternative footwear to change into when no one’s looking and preserve the illusion.

2. Remember that the cab is a safe zone. Take off those shoes and give your feet a rub — even a five-minute massage can revitalize them for hours.

3. Wear padded insoles. Ardent heel-wearer Abby Askari Bennet, Manolo Blahnik’s Manhattan store manager, recommends them, especially for heels higher than three and a half inches. Try Footpetals — the sleek but bouncy insole created by Tina Aldatz, a die-hard heel-lover.

4. Keep walking and standing to a minimum. Only got standing room for Marc Jacobs? Just look confident and sneak a seat in the fifth row. Your feet will thank you.

5. Wear expensive shoes. (As if you needed an excuse.) Manolos, Louboutins and Choos are balanced and crafted by hand, while their Eighth Street counterparts are not. Leave the knockoffs to your H&M tops and Zara jackets.

6. Have a cocktail. Somehow with a couple of glasses of champagne, you don’t feel a thing.

7. Shoe maintenance is key. Be sure to resole frequently and have taps replaced at the first sign of wear. Bergdorf Goodman fashion director Roopal Patel advises, “Don’t break out a new pair of shoes for fashion week. You will regret it.”

8. Take advantage of Casual Sunday. When tripping off to  Tuleh and Diane von Furstenberg, it’s OK to wear something slightly more sensible.

9. Make time to treat your tootsies. Angel Feet offers a 30-minute reflexology session, after which, “You feel like you’re walking on air,” says reflexologist Antonia Walker.  For something more active, Yamuna Studio, a yoga and Pilates center, gives fifteen-minute Foot Fitness classes for improved flexibility and function.

10. Lastly, don’t talk to an orthopedic surgeon. They are a wealth of bad news. For every inch of a heel that you wear, you almost double the amount of weight on the balls of your feet, explains Dr. Nirain D’Souza. “You can squish your feet only so much before they squish back,” he adds.

Where to Find It

  • Footpetals are available at Bigelow Pharmacy, 414 Sixth Avenue, or at
  • Angel Feet, 77 Perry Street, 212-924-3576; 30-minute session, $50. Appointments necessary.
  • Yamuna Studio, 132 Perry Street; visit for schedule.