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It’s a well-known fact that high heels can be bad for your feet and cause painful deformities such as bunions or hammer toes.  Just wearing high heels every now and then can be painful, because they just aren’t very comfortable!  But let’s face it; many women are still going to wear high heels.  Why are women torturing themselves for shoes you ask?  Why do kamikaze pilots wear helmets?  It’s a mystery!  Ok maybe there are a few reasons.

High heels have several “fashion” benefits.  They make you appear taller.  They force your body to balance by pushing your bosom forward and pushing your buttocks back, which is accentuating the “ideal and sought after” female form.  They also put your feet into plantar flexion which accentuates your calves.  Just to be clear, I’m not recommending high heels… at all.

If you must wear high heels here are a few simple rules to follow.

  1. When picking out high heels, look for shoes with plenty of space for your toes.  Make sure that the toe box is roomy and has enough height to keep your toes from becoming squished.  Many high heels force your toes to come to a point which is the main deforming force high heels exert. 
  2. Buy inserts.  There are over the counter inserts that you can slap into your high heels that help distribute the weight and provide more shock absorption throughout the pressure points.  Dr. Scholl’s for her high heel inserts work well for many women. 
  3. Exercise your feet daily with simple exercises like picking up a golf ball with your toes.  This can work to stop muscle atrophy and keep your feet strong and injury resistant.
  4. Give your feet plenty of breaks.  Try not to wear high heels every day and take them off as often as possible.  When you’re at a party or around the office take a seat as often as possible to give your feet a break. 
  5. Get a grip.  The bottom of your shoes can be very slippery when new.  Scuff them up with some sandpaper or a concrete surface.  You can even buy adhesive grips to place on the bottom of your shoes.
  6. Keep your balance.  Ankle injuries are very common when wearing heels and they occur when you lose your balance and roll the ankle in one direction or the other.  This is very easy to do because you aren’t nearly as stable up on heels as you are on the ground.  Do some balance exercises to condition your leg muscles and enhance your proprioception.  If you’re really ambitious then join a yoga class!

Remember that high heels are not ideal for your feet and if you have to wear them, follow these tips to take care of your feet.  If you have any questions or problems with your feet, then make an appointment with your local podiatrist at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Care in Edison and Monroe NJ today.

By Nrupa Shah

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