Healthy Foot Notes

High Heels and Foot Pain

Posted on: August 12, 2013

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Let’s face it, apart from the occasional pedicure or visit to the spa, women tend to put a lot of pressure on their feet.  Today’s fashion statements include sky-high heels or sandals with absolutely no arch support — but hey, they’re cute right?

Unfortunately, beauty is pain and can cause long-lasting damage to your feet if you aren’t careful.  Orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Steven Raikin, says a one-inch heel can increase pressure on the foot by 22%.  The pressure stems from toes being crammed into tight spaces.  This pressure can result in bunions or hammertoes.  While platform and wedge shoes offer a little more support, today’s styles feature an unnatural incline and that can add to pressure as well.

Kristen Dold, writer for Women’s Health, created a list of tips to help keep you in your high heels without causing too much damage to your feet.  Here are our favorites.

  • Try not to stand or walk around in heels higher than two inches for more than four hours straight, says Horton. (If you do wear way-high heels on a big night out, ice your feet when you get home to curb any swelling or pain.)
  • Remember that feet can still grow and spread throughout adulthood (especially after pregnancy) and tend to be at their most swollen at the end of the day, so do your shoe shopping in the afternoon. Have your feet measured every year to make sure you’re buying the right size.
  • To keep your feet limber, do stretches such as writing the alphabet with pointed toes; to massage your arches, roll your feet over a tennis ball for a few minutes a day; and to stretch your ankle and calf, extend your knee, place a towel around the ball of your foot, and pull toes toward you.

So what do you think?  Are high heels really worth the hassle?


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