Shoe Comfort

The Best Cushioning for Comfortable Heels

March 28, 2023

Now more than ever, customers want more high heel comfort with the best cushioning. Many fashion brands are missing the easiest opportunities to provide better cushioning and comfort to their customers. This article covers the simple science behind the best cushioning in high heels.

Changing out your foam type can instantly improve cushioning more than 50%.

Brands have sent us shoes manufactured with different foam types and Hulk Impact testing identifies over 50% increase in cushioning by only changing foam type. This is true across all types and heights of heeled footwear.

BONUS TIP: Testing has also found cases where production versions of the shoe have worse cushioning that samples. Tear downs of the shoe identified that the wrong foam was built into the shoe. Luckily, we can find this before your customers do!

2mm is the magic number to increase cushioning in a high heel. If you plan to increase foam thickness to improve cushioning, less than 2mm will not be perceived by your customers. 1mm is not enough! Our lab testing shows that layering 2 types of foam does not improve cushioning either—in most cases it makes cushioning worse! Here’s an example of 2 high heels that were tested with different foam thicknesses:

Testing the cushioning and comfort of your high heels creates a current benchmark for your shoes and empowers your team with performance targets. One of the keys to success here is to compare your cushioning to your competition. Heeluxe has a large database of high heels that add incredible value to your test reports. When you’re ready to test your high heels, we’d love to hear from you at