I Danced All Night in These Cushioned Heels and Left with Zero Blisters


I am just going to start this off real quick by saying that I have a very low pain tolerance. Papercut? Upsetting. Stubbed toe? Might need an X-ray. Bruise? This is will surely be the end of me. So, please, try to understand why I am often so reluctant to wear heels. (Hint: It’s because blisters suck and I am a big, whiney baby.)

But while I am averse to wearing anything uncomfortable (hey bras, I hate you, too!), I’m at least hopeful that one day I might find the most comfortable heels known to man. And no, I don’t mean those shapeless, 2-inch chonkers with the orthopedic inserts and blah colorways like pewter. I mean actually chic heels worthy of a grid post on the ‘Gram that also won’t totally wreck my feet. Have I found them? Spoiler alert: Yes, I have. In fact, I found a whole hoard of ’em: Tamara Mellon’s pillow top collection.

Tamara Mellon

The Specs

What you’ll find in Tamara Mellon’s pillow top collection is a lineup of ultra-chic heels, sandals, and mules featuring high-density, 8mm memory foam cushions. Responsive to body heat and nearly invisible when worn, this dual-layered cushion is designed to mold and soften to your feet, resulting in mattress-quality comfort for your soles.

The inspiration came from two things: the desire for a truly comfortable yet glamorous heel in a post lockdown world and also Tamara’s Eames Soft Pad Chair, a lounge chair that perfectly melds comfort with style.

The Test

Of course, with a product description as enticing as this, I had to find out for myself if these shoes are as comfortable as they claim to be. Also, I had a wedding to go to and desperately needed some new heels. So, what better way to review Tamara Mellon’s pillow top heels than by celebrating a loving union by way of dance into the wee hours of the night?

Tamara Mellon sent two pairs for me to try: the Solitude sandal in Sauvage Brown and the velvet Comet heel in Topaz. Both are absolutely stunning and either one would’ve worked with my wedding guest dress, but, ultimately, I decided on the Solitude sandal for the event. My reasoning was this: I wanted to avoid any possibility of getting a toe blister, and the chances of that would be greatly reduced if I wore an open-toe shoe.

smiling woman and man posing

Just me and the two best wedding dates: the Solitude heel and this dude.

Kim Duong

smiling woman and man posing

Apologies for the pose. The photographer said, “Get weird.”

Kim Duong

My first impression was, holy crap, so squishy. The cushions are thick and surprisingly responsive, the way a good mattress should be. My second impression, however, was, will these straps hurt later on? The Solitude sandal features glittery suede ankle and toe straps, which are gorgeous but a little rough to the touch. Add to that, the toe strap is a bit tight, and I feared that I would be left with blisters and cuts by the end of the night. But much to my surprise, none of that happened. At all. The glitter straps may have felt rough on my fingertips, but they didn’t scratch or dig into my feet, whatsoever. And my toes? Completely blister-free.

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At no point throughout the night did I feel that god-awful burning sensation on the ball of my foot that I so often get with heels, either. At most, I felt pressure and the urge to sit down—but I had been dancing for hours by then. So, that was inevitable.

I should mention: The Comet heel is an absolute stunner. And though I chose to not wear it to the wedding, I find myself dreaming up outfits for my everyday life that will specifically work with these heels. I mean, come on. The jewel-tone velvet (that actually feels amazingly plush on my feet), the subtly metallic wrap-around ankle straps, and the glittery crystal embellishments. They’re all so gorgeous and make this shoe a work of art—so much so that when I’m not wearing them, I want to display them. I would, however, get some toe covers to protect your feet from rubbing the inside of the shoe’s upper. But then again, c’est la the realities of wearing a closed-toe shoe.

closeup of woman's feet in heels, couch throw pillows, and connect four pieces

Tamara Mellon

The Verdict

Now the question is, are the Tamara Mellon Pillow Top shoes worth it? Starting at around $349, any pair from this collection wouldn’t exactly be a casual buy, per se. But if you’re in the market for a pair of comfortable heels you’ll actually wear time and time again, then yes, I’d say a pair of Pillow Tops would be a worthy investment.

I am now (much less) deterred by the thought of wearing heels and even shudder at the old, distant memory of strapping on my previous most “comfortable” pair of heels in the Before Times. (Absolutely no padding, whatsoever. Terrifying!) I am just so pleased that I can now boast about how my stilettos have memory foam cushions that mold to my feet—a life event that is surely worthy of a Facebook announcement.

But all of this isn’t to say that you’ll never feel the discomfort of wearing heels again. You might always feel that familiar ache (it comes with the territory), but will you have blisters or sores or cuts? With these Pillow Tops, probs nah. And that is a huge win in my book.

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