High heels are common or even more common than ever, however that doesn’t mean they’ve gotten any more comfortable. Women have all sorts of problems with heels and podiatrists and orthopaedic surgeons often complain about the wearing of them.
If you don’t carefully choose your heeled shoes you may end up with excessive pressure on the plantar surface – in layman’s terms – the soles of the feet. There’s no doubting that this causes problems for the feet and back and even leads to knee pain and an attractive condition known as hammer toes.
However, wearing high heels is a necessity, looks great and can do your confidence a hell of a lot of good. If you are careful to avoid the mistakes they can offer you all of the aforementioned positives and also few or none of the downsides.
If the shoes fits wear it; if the shoes don’t fit don’t wear it. Large shoes will cause your foot to move around in the sole and lead to pain and discomfort. Also be aware of the width of the shoe as this also will make for pain in the longer term.
People often wear heels for years, even decades, however the shape of your foot changes and what once fitted you may not do so forever. These are natural changes due to hormones and soft tissue and you should be aware of these when putting on old shoes.
High heels are often high – no surprise there. This height puts the ball of the foot under pressure and causes problems for the joints. If you must choose high heels, be sure that there is some sole under the front of the shoe. Chunkier heels also relieve some of the pressure. Also, heels positioned further forward in the shoe create more pressure than those positioned at the back and are harder to remain comfortable in.
Coverage and Strap
If the ankle strap is tiny, then you will bear more weight on the front of the foot. This means there is a lot of motion and the shoe will be unsteady when walking. Over a day or so this leads to tired feet and sore toes. Try and choose high heels that offer you a good fit and also offer adequate support. Heeled boots and shoes with thick straps over the arch and ankle are best.
A common fixture on the high heel is a pointy toe. It looks elegant, but it also cramps the space at the front of the shoe and makes it harder to remain stable. It can also cause a problem known as hammer foot. Choose wider, more rounded toes over pointed ones as this can prevent all of the above problems.
Wearing heels is a luxury women can afford, once the shoes are apt for their feet and the occasion at hand.
Author Byline: Cormac Reynolds writes for UK clothing site Lyst, which provides a range of heels to customers the world over.