There is no question that we all love our Jimmy Choos and Louboutins. They make any outfit complete and who doesn’t love automatic leg extensions? Some women even undergo crazy surgeries or fat pad injections to fit into designer footwear. But over the years I have started feeling the wear and tear of heels on my feet, and I hate to break it to you ladies, but those pretty shoes definitely cause some long term damage. Not all is lost though; read on for ways to find heels that are more feet friendly.
The Washington Post came up with an excellent infographic showing all the damaging things heels can do. The list includes shortening of calf muscles, which causes more strain and easier muscle fatigue, development of bunions, calluses, and corns, hammertoes, and numbness in the feet. The problems stem from too much pressure in all the wrong places – base of your big toe and pinky toe, all of your front toes if it’s a narrow shoe box, ankles, knees, and even your back from bad posture. A study done in 2012 comparing heel wearers to non-heel wearers showed that these harmful changes occur even at young ages (study subjects were 25!), meaning you don’t need to wear heels for decades before experiencing these adverse effects.
So what’s a gal to do? Don’t worry, I’m not going to say you should never wear heels. The key is to save the heels for special times when you really need them. I’m talking fancy occasions with minimal walking involved. Or do what the women of NYC do – get to your destination in flats and bring your heels in a bag to change into. Also, be smart about how you choose your heels. Thicker heels or wedges give you more base support than a thin stiletto, and go for heels with a gradual slant instead of a steep slope from heel to toe. It goes without saying to buy heels that are a great fit for your foot size; heels too big or small will cause even more pressure on those tender spots in your feet. Use soft insoles for cushioning, choose heels with a rubber sole which is more shock absorbent, and don’t forget to stretch your feet and calves after a long day in heels. Try to alternate footwear as well; if you wear heels for a long time one day, opt for flats or a wedge the next to give your feet a break.
What experience do you have with wearing heels? Any tips on reducing foot fatigue from these pretty shoes?