12 Affordable Products to Break In Uncomfortable Shoes

These affordable, problem-solving finds from Amazon will help you turn the shoes of your nightmares into the shoes of your dreams so you can run toward your happily ever after, one step at a time.

By Jenny Lee Oct 06, 2023 10:00 AMTags
E-Comm: Shoe Relief Products

We independently selected these products because we love them, and we think you might like them at these prices. E! has affiliate relationships, so we may get a commission if you purchase something through our links. Items are sold by the retailer, not E!. Prices are accurate as of publish time.

Raise your hand if you've ever ordered a pair of shoes that look like they were meant just for you. You check the shipping status multiple times every day, staring out the window like a cat, waiting for the delivery truck to come by, in tow with your new sole-mate.

You unwrap the box like a child on Christmas Day, and try on the shoes like Cinderella, ready for your happily ever after... only to find out that the shoes of your dreams were actually nightmares for your feet. Sure, the shoes look absolutely gorgeous, but your feet are crying out in pain, either because the shoes were too small, too big or too stiff.

Before you lament the loss of your happily ever after and sadly click that "return" button, wait! I've been in your shoes before (pun completely intended), and I'm here to guide your lost sole. From toe protectors to shoe stretchers to anti-blister balms, we've rounded up the best problem-solving finds for immediate, long-lasting foot relief so that you can jump, dance and stomp away in any shoes, one step at a time.

These top-rated finds are all available on Amazon, and reviewers rave about their effectiveness in delivering amazing results. Say goodbye to shoe-related worries, so don't walk, but run, to that "add to cart" button.

Dr. Scholl's Energizing Comfort Massaging Gel Insoles

These massaging gel insoles are designed to help reduce muscle fatigue in your feet and legs, and they fit all sorts of shoes, from casual sneakers to work boots.

According to one Amazon reviewer, "These are awesome. I already wear custom orthotics but was looking for a thin, gel cushion for comfort. These completely fit the bill. They're not arch supports but they provide a nice layer of comfort. They're also thin so they don't add a lot of bulk inside the shoe. Really great!"

Matie Fix Heel Grips Liner Cushions Inserts for Loose Shoes

As much as I love wearing heels, I don't love how uncomfortable they are; in particular, I've found that I tend to get blisters on the backs of my ankles when wearing heels, and bandages easily fall off. These heel liner cushions have been absolute life savers in that regard. They're made of breathable suede materials, and they're super easy to use— just peel off the back cover and stick them on the backs of your shoes.

One reviewer on Amazon wrote, "These are the best heel liners I've ever had. I can now wear two pairs of shoes that I couldn't wear before because now they stay on my feet."

Dr. Frederick's Original Soft Gel Toe Protectors for Men & Women

If your shoes are just a pinch too small and rub against your toes, these gel toe protectors are about to be your new best friend. They're designed to reduce friction and softly cushion your toes to protect them against blisters, ingrown/injured toenails, corns, calluses and more, according to the brand. The toe caps are latex and silicone free, and they come in three different sizes.

One Amazon shopper wrote, "If you're thinking about, don't, get it, worth every penny. Had issues with black nails from running, fixed with these caps. Love ‘em."

Walk-Hero Plantar Fasciitis Feet Insoles Arch Supports

If you have flat feet, you probably know how uncomfortable it can be to stand and walk around for a long time no matter what shoes you're wearing. These arch support insoles, which have over 41,600 5-star reviews on Amazon, are here to take your worries and discomfort away— they provide moderate control and support in any shoe you put on, helping to maintain stable foot position and reduce landing impact.

According to one Amazon reviewer, "I have been using custom orthotics for a long time and spent a lot of $$$ along the way. I decided to try a cheaper route and was very pleasantly surprised. These things are great! The arch support is a little firmer than the customs, so I get better support. I walk on concrete a lot and these made a lot of difference. Great product!"

Bitly Plantar Fasciitis Socks for Women & Men

These foot and ankle compression socks with 28,300+ 5-star Amazon reviews are another great option for providing arch support and heel pain relief in one. They come in a variety of sizes and colors, and the moisture-wicking fabric helps your feet stay cool and comfortable all day long, whether you're running errands, hitting the gym or relaxing.

One Amazon shopper wrote, "I have bought at least a half a dozen compression socks and these are by far the best! Having the front area open means there isn't as much pressure on your toes, allowing them to breathe. ... Can't ask for anything better than that! I love them so much I would like to get more."

Mars Wellness Metatarsal Felt Foot Pad Skived Cut

These contoured felt foot pads are amazing for providing customized relief to areas that are hard to bandage, such as the balls of your feet. The adhesive back helps keep the pad from shiting, while the skived/contoured edges comfortably mold to your foot shape.

According to one Amazon reviewer, "I put these on the insoles of some of my shoes. Adhesive allows me to adjust them a couple times when first inserting, then seems to stay put. Important to have right thickness for individual shoes, so bought two different ones. Will buy again!"

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BodyGlide Foot Glide Anti Blister Balm

If you're looking for something to help prevent blisters before you even put on your shoes, this BodyGlide foot balm is for you! The balm is infused with ingredients like Vitamin A and C to help soften skin and restor dry, chapped and chafed feet, while also keeping your pores clog-free.

One Amazon shopper wrote, "This is the best product ever. Saves my ankles and any other part of my feet from blisters and doesn't leave a residue on the back of my shoes. You do have to reapply occasionally but it lasts a long time."

KT Tape KT Performance+ Blister Prevention Tape

I first found out about KT Tape many years ago, when I was a competitive figure skater and would have to wear skates for multiple hours each day. I had blisters on my toes, ankles and feet, but this tape was an absolute lifesaver. Years later, I still use this tape when I'm breaking in boots and shoes that don't quite fit right. They're ultra-durable, help prevent blisters and chafing and conform to skin without feeling heavy.

One shopper on Amazon described this as "blister protection at its best," writing, "Forget normal bandaids - if you are prone to blisters always have this tape on hand. It is excellent to prevent or help you walk if you have blisters. I keep two cases on hand - one at home and the other in my travel bag. Stays on until you take them off (even while bathing)."

ZenToes Ankle Bone Protection Socks

Wave goodbye to ankle bone pain with these ZenToes protection socks, which are equipped with two gel pads and provide mild compression to protect and soothe your ankle bone no matter what shoes your wearing. The unisex sleeves conform to your ankles, while the stretchy fabric holds the pads in place— I especially love that these sleeves are washable and reusable.

One Amazon reviewer wrote, "I rolled my ankle inwards three months ago, and my medial bone remains swollen and painful especially when playing tennis. This product has worked great at keeping my tennis shoe from pushing into the bone. Playing almost pain-free now. Great purchase."

Compeed Advanced Blister Care Hydrolloid Bandages

As much as we try to prevent blisters, there will inevitably be times where the blister has already developed. In those instances, it's important to take care of your blister well so it goes away as fast and painlessly as possible. These hydrocolloid bandages are a great solution that provide long-lasting protection, faster healing and pressure/friction reduction, according to the brand.

One Amazon reviewer noted that these bandages provided "amazing relief." They wrote, "I have two huge blisters about two inches long where the skin was ripped off my bottom foot. These bandages covered the exposed skin and allowed me to walk normally with no pain."

Eachway Shoe Stretcher Shoe Trees

Once upon a time, I ordered a pair of gorgeous heels that were on sale and the last available in stock, but were a half-size too small. I was devastated at the thought of having to return them, so I searched high and low for any magic solution that would stretch them out. I came across these shoe stretchers that seemed too good to be true— but luckily, they did exactly what they said they did and fully live up to the hype of 14,500+ 5-star Amazon reviews.

An Amazon reviewer with a similar experience wrote, "I NEVER wrote reviews, but I have to because this is an amazing product. I don't understand the negative reviews. These are what I have been missing for my shoes!! Maybe I can actually wear regular shoes instead of wide. These stretched my shoes in 48 hours. I kept the second pair in them for 72 hours and they worked even better!"

FootMatters Professional Boot & Shoe Stretch Spray

Speaking of stretching shoes, this FootMatters spray is another amazing solution for softening and stretching tight-fitting shoes and boots alike. The spray goes on clear so you don't have to worry about staining or discoloration, and it works on multiple materials, including leather, suede, canvas, synthetics and linen.

One Amazon reviewer, who called this spray the "best stuff ever," wrote, "This stuff has changed my life when it comes to buying shoes. I used to not be able to buy anything that wasn't wide width but now because of this spray I can buy regular width shoes (specifically boots and heels) and use this to widen them out. I've used it on three pairs of boots and a pair of heels and I still have half the bottle."

Looking to shop some jaw-dropping shoes at equally stunning prices? Check out our picks from Steve Madden's 80% deals, including $165 combat boots for $30, $135 booties for $30 and $200 shoes for $60.