Be sure to take care of your feet when you’re wearing heels!
Wearing high heels over time can cause irreversible damage to feet. In the short term, the excess weight on the ball of the foot causes friction and inflammation to the area. To counterbalance this new body position and instability, the wearer unnaturally pushes their knees and hips forward and arches their back. So while those women who routinely wear high heels may look all snazzy and sophisticated, they are at risk for permanent physiological damage to their knees, hips, back and tendons.
Assuming women will refuse to give up their high heels in the name of fashion, Australian podiatrist and foot biomechanics expert Phillip Vasyli (founder of good-for-you brands Orthaheel and Dr. Weil Integrative Footwear) suggests ways to prevent foot pain for those who wear high heels:
- choose your heels wisely: Seek out quality leather shoes that are breathable and feature adequate arch support. Lower quality shoes often utilize synthetic material, which doesn’t flex with your foot and can cause foot pain.
- Mind your heel height: The human body was not intended to walk in high heels, so save them for special occasions. The best option is to aim for a 1.5–2 inch heel with a wedge sole—with some contact with the arch of your foot. If you walk in anything higher than three inches, your normal stride will be affected.
- Take a break: The average person takes between 8,000–10,000 steps per day walking on hard, unnatural surfaces. Give your dogs a break by spacing out the days you wear your highest heels.
- Commute in comfort: Wear a more comfortable, supportive shoe to commute to and from your workplace and wear the higher shoes just at your desk if possible.
Look after your feet! You’ll feel better and avoid back strain as well! And you won’t, well, feel like a heel!