Sometimes even when a pair is in the perfect size, chafing still occurs because of friction between your feet and your shoes, causing painful blisters or abrasions that make walking an excruciating task. Don’t fret, there are ways to soften your shoes to reduce friction and make them more bearable.

Solution 3.1: Applying petroleum jelly on necessary areas

Before you put on your new pair of shoes, apply some petroleum jelly on potential problem areas (on both your feet and in your shoes), such as your heels, little toes and the edge of the balls of your feet. The jelly acts as a protective barrier against any potential friction, ensuring your strolls are pain-free. We recommend Vaseline — it’s made up of 100 per cent petroleum jelly so it’s safe for your skin and shoes. Grab these in pocket sizes so that you can keep them inside your purse at all times, in case you need to reapply throughout the day.

Solution 3.2: Dip it in a bucket of water

This method works better for dark coloured hues so don’t try this with your light coloured shoes. Dunk your new shoes into a bucket of water for five minutes before immediately towelling them dry to prevent any chance of discolouration. Wear them out after that, preferably for at least an hour. With this method, the water molecules absorbed by your leather footwear would aid in the molding of the shoes, allowing them to expand faster.

Note: Before attempting this method, give it a test run by dropping a bit of water on a small area of to see if the colour runs. Try this on the insides of your shoes so if it happens to stain, it won’t be visible.

Solution 3.3: Tape your toes

Ever wondered why ballerinas tape their third and fourth toes together before every practice? These toes have more sensitive nerve endings, which will contribute to more pain. Taping them together will redistribute the pressure, allowing them to dance for longer hours.

Shoes that have closed and pointed tips naturally cause the most pain as they squeeze your toes tightly together. Hence, we’d suggest you use paper tape — the kind you can find in a first-aid kit — when wearing these type of shoes to secure your third and fourth toes together. This will reduce the stress asserted on your toes and at the same time, reduce friction caused by toes rubbing against each other. It also acts as a barrier against the inner surface of your shoes, thus preventing blisters.

Bonus tip: If all else fails, there’s always professional help in the form of a cobbler. Tell him or her your problem and they’d be able to advise you on the necessary changes — for a fee of course. Hey, forking out a few extra dollars is a small sum to pay, as long as you get to eventually flaunt your favourite shoes.