Stilettos will forever be fashionable. They're a classic item that is in style every single year. Evening and cocktail dresses will always need the additional height and femininity that only stilettos can bring. Business clothing will also always need a dash of professionalism that heels provide.
There are 3 major factors to look out for to avoid stiletto based problems. The weight of the entire body is held on the ball of the foot when wearing a high heel. The pain this causes can be aided by two factors. A sole and inset will reduce problems significantly. The toe is another area that suffers during the wearing of stilettos. The arch is the final area that brings pain when there isn't enough support.
Additional width and depth in the toe area will provide plenty of additional comfort. This year it's fashionable to wear a rounder toe but it needs to exist on a shoe that works with this. The bulkier toe area needs to be balanced with the rest of the shoe, otherwise it looks too practical. A slightly thicker heel is all that's required to balance out the look.
A shock absorbing inset can prevent a large amount of pain in the ball of the foot. Orthopedic insets are useful to give the area extra softness. High quality insets that come with the shoe can be sufficient if they're well made. Poorly made insets flatten entirely within as little as a few weeks, rendering them useless.
The sole is the most important area for shock absorption to prevent pain at the ball of the foot. Platforms are a huge trend this year and don't need to be overly thick. As little as a centimeter or two's width, if made from well fabricated plastic or gum rubber, can prevent pain in the ball of the foot entirely. Synthetic rubber wears down within months. Since most people carry their weight unevenly on their feet, the sole wears down more on one side. This causes misalignment of the spine and hips, causing long term injury, spasms and pain.
Those with problematic arches are always best off with an orthopedic inset. An espadrille heal will give the arch extra support that prevents pain for those with and without flat arches. Espadrilles are coming back into fashion next summer and were present in a number of 2013 collections.
A thick rather than stiletto heel can support the ankles better to reduce imbalance and pain to that area. Thick heels are also better at balancing out thicker calves. No matter how well chosen comfortable high heels are, they should be worn for short periods. It's best to carry a flat pair of shoes along, wearing them when ever heels aren't a necessity. This will also prevent shoes from becoming damaged during long periods of walking.