Everyone knows that wearing high heels can cause issues with your feet, but not everyone knows that very simple steps can help decrease the chances of damaging your feet and legs due to long term wearing of these types of shoes. I thought I would put together a short and to the point list of the most common issues associated with the wearing of high heels and simple things you can do to help prevent damage due to long term wearing of high heels and also relieve some of the pain of wearing such shoes.
1. Most women after wearing high heels all day just want to come home and kick them off due to the balls of their feet hurting. To relieve this some have turned to a Botox treatment that is geared towards injecting the balls of one’s foot with Botox to create a padding. This padding will help cushion the foot when walking or standing. Although this does help, there is another way of doing the same thing. Instead of the Botox treatment we recommend using an invisible gel pad that is put out by Dr. Scholl’s. This simple gel filled pad does the same thing as the Botox treatment but costs much less.
2. Wear shoes that fit! Believe it or not most women do not do this. Although high heels have a snug fit they should not be too tight. If you know you’re going to be on your feet all day or will be doing a lot of dancing we recommend wearing a sandal or a round toe pump as these tend to give your toes more room. Real pointy toe heels may look sexy but they also tend to squeeze your toes together causing pain. This pain increases throughout the day as the shoes stretch and your foot slides down deeper into the shoe.
Sandals themselves have their own issue as most women do not buy a sandal that fits properly. Most women when wearing sandals tend to have a strap that crosses just in front of the baby toe. This is also commonly seen on shoes that have an open toe with a solid vamp the covers the top of the foot. Sandals, if fitted properly, should expose all the toes and any straps or vamp should lay just behind the toe nail of the baby toe.
3. Do not wear a heel that is too high for you! Wearing high heels that are too high can cause back strain. It can also cause you to walk in an unorthodox manner making it much easier for you fall. There is a simple method we use to determine a persons max heel height, which is as follows. Stand facing a wall. Now rise up onto your toes as high as you can while keeping your knees straight. Use the wall to help balance you. Now have a friend measure the distance from the bottom of your heel to the floor. This is what we call your max heel height. Staying within this height we have found people being able to walk much easier with better posture and overall comfort. If you wish to wear heels higher than your max heel height, then we highly recommend a platform to achieve this.
4. Stretching of the calf muscle is very important, but not done by over 90% of the people who wear high heels day to day. When a high heel shoe is worn your calf muscle is shortened. Over time this muscle will become weak and relaxed. Many people have stated that from wearing high heels everyday that wearing flats or tennis shoes are not comfortable and hurt the backs of their legs and sometimes cause their feet and legs to cramp. Now most of you reading this can remember or have seen babies and have seen how flexible they are. Some of you can remember being able to touch your head to your knee but find it impossible to do now as the muscles in your legs are no longer stretched and have grown to the position they are from your day to day habits. This is the same with high heels. If you do not keep the calf muscle stretched it will shorten over time and make wearing flats or even walking barefoot uncomfortable. A simple way to prevent this is to find a board or some solid and prop it up on something like a thick phone book creating a small ramp. The angle can be anywhere from a 30 degree angle to a 45 degree angle. Make sure if you prop something on a book that the book or object cannot slide or move. We recommend putting it against a wall. Now once you have little ramp, stand facing it putting your foot on the ramp while keeping your heel on the floor off the ramp. Now slowly lean forward until you feel it pulling on your calf muscle. Doing this simple exercise will help in keeping the calf muscle stretched and also help in preventing any prolonged damage to the calf muscle.
5. As always we recommend a heel that has ankle support of some sort, especially if you’re going to be doing a lot of walking or dancing. This is also more important when it comes to a higher heel vs a lower heel. Higher heels tend to be more unstable and a person can very easily twist their ankle or fall if their heel slides off to one side of the shoe. An ankle strap or some sort of ankle support can greatly reduce this.
We hope you take the time to read these simple tips and maybe put a few of them to use. In doing so you can help in making wearing high heels as pain free as possible and also help prevent yourself from twisting your ankle or hurting your back.
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