I am in Hong Kong and are required to wear dress shoes during long walks up and down stairs all day. My heels start hurting after the first hour, and then have another 8 more to go. Any suggestions to make my day in dress shoes more bearable?
First of all find dress shoes that meet at least the minimum requirements to your job and fit and feel better. As someone myself who has spent many long hours, days, and trade shows forced to wear dress shoes, comfortable ones, or at least more comfortable ones do exist. They are hard to find and you may feel like you've tried on every pair of shoes in your local area, but it's worth it once you find a pair that you can at least tolerate. Secondly if necessary adjust them, get a shoe stretcher if necessary to stretch them where or if you need it, some shoe stores will actually do this for you if you ask when you purchase the shoes. Thirdly experiment with insoles, this is harder with dress shoes than regular shoes but if you find a pair of shoes that seems to work and the insole that comes with the shoes comes out then bonus, you can try some OTC insoles or a pair of customer orthotics, or even go all the way with customer orthotic shoes. Now, you're probably thinking this is going to be expensive and you're right. Another thing, the quality of the shoe makes a BIG difference. If you are buying cheap $20 shoes they are probably going to hurt more than if you spend $60 or $80 on a pair of shoes that have a nicer built in insole with some chushoning. Think about how much your feet and sanity are worth to you and take the time to find a nice good quality pair of dress shoes. Hope this helps. :)
What kind of dress shoes? Are they flats or heels? Is the top enclosed? Good shoes make a huge difference, and there are some companies making dressy shoes that are MUCH better for your feet. Check out Mephisto, Munro, Ecco, Finn Comfort (Tallinn 3568). Some of the Finn Comfort shoes have a replaceable insole, so you don't need to trash the shoes when padding starts to give, you just replace the insole. There are a number of good shoe companies out there, but what you can wear will depend on what your job requires.