Debate Dish: How Did Hillary Clinton Stand for 90 Minutes in Those Heels?

Hillary Clinton Pantsuit - Final Presidential Debate - Embed- 2016
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Hillary Clinton wears a white pantsuit by Ralph Lauren during the third presidential debate.

An innovating podiatrist on how the Democratic presidential nominee managed to stand at the debate podium in pumps for an hour and a half straight.

At this summer’s Democratic National Convention, President Barack Obama said of Hillary Clinton, “She was doing everything I was doing, except like Ginger Rogers, she was doing it backward, and in heels.”

The female Democratic candidate for president proved the truth of that statement Wednesday night when she stood, for 90 minutes, in black pointy kitten heels — with no visible signs of discomfort, at least not in her feet — while Donald Trump was planted in men’s flat shoes.

Most women could relate; there is nothing easy about standing that long in a heel, whether it’s an inch or six inches high. So how did Clinton do it? Perhaps with some advice from a trusted podiatrist, such as the innovating Dr. Ali Sadrieh of Evo Advanced Foot Surgery in Studio City, who created the “Cinderella Procedure” as a surgical option to address issues women have with wearing heels.

But as Dr. Sadrieh tells Pret-a-Reporter, surgery is not the only path to relative comfort in a pair of pumps. Says the doctor: “The very first thing to consider is the shoe and the shoe fit. Go shoe-shopping later in the afternoon [when] your feet are slightly more swollen. If a shoe is comfortable when you try it on at this time of day, it more than likely will be comfortable at all times.”

So maybe Clinton’s stylist caught her between rallies and speeches to have her try out the low black heels (and white Ralph Lauren collection pantsuit), Cinderella-style, at that perfectly swollen time of day?

Another hint: “If you know you will be standing for a particularly long period of time, choose a shoe with a low heel — less than three inches — and a rounded toe,” says Dr. Sadrieh. “Pointed-toe shoes, while gorgeous, are more constricting to the toes, and inevitably the more uncomfortable choice.” In that sense, Clinton isn’t making things any easier for herself — for the first debate, her Miu Miu bow kitten heels were quite pointy.

While we don’t know the state of the presidential hopeful’s feet (though after so long on the campaign trail, we can imagine), we hope for her sake Clinton doesn’t have hammertoes. If one does, however, it’s important to buy shoes in a slightly larger size to allow the toes room, unpinched, so blood can flow.

Inserts, too, are a great idea, according to the foot guru, who says the extra cushion and support they add goes a long way to extending the life of one’s dogs. (Dr. Scholl’s huge range of massaging gel pads and DreamWalk inserts are easy to pop in.) 

Along with changing up one’s shoes regularly, there’s also something to be said for lines like Coye Nokes, Taryn Rose and the same orthopedic surgeon’s startup heel label DRESR, that are designed with comfort in mind. “Try to rotate shoe styles, low heel to high heel, round toe to pointy to open toe,” says Dr. Sadrieh.

The day before standing a long time he advises wearing a different type of shoe than the one you plan on standing in.

And then there are the slightly more extreme ways to diminish pain. “Treatments like Botox injections in the sole of the foot can help in allowing for a longer duration of being able to stand on your foot,” says the doctor. Surgery is also a consideration for those who must be on their feet frequently. Dr. Sadrieh’s Cinderella Procedure — dubbed a “Loub Job” in the media — promises little downtime (two to three weeks as opposed to three months for traditional foot surgeries) and addresses issues like bunions, hammertoes, too-long or even too-short toes.

Trump might want to entertain a consultation re his gossiped-about stumpy fingers.