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High Heel Pain? Give Your Feet a Rest

High heeled shoes are more popular than ever – they are like these magical creations that make your legs look long and tone just by slipping your feet into them. But have you thought of the consequences of wearing your Manolo Blahniks? Here’s the thing – if you wear high heel shoes regularly, you’re going to experience foot, back or knee problems. So now all you have to do is ask yourself, if the high heel pain really worth it?

High Heel Pain? Give Your Feet a Rest

Studies have shown that high heeled shoes put excess pressure on the sole of your foot, which can lead to metatarsalgia, excess stress on foot joints, and painful calluses. The higher the heel is, the higher the chances that muscular imbalances are going on as you walk in the shoes, causing certain leg and foot muscles to work too hard. These imbalances can lead to knee pain, heel pain (plantar fasciitis), and hammer toes. Now, you don’t have to give up wearing high heels, but you may want to consider these guidelines as you shop for new shoes.

The Shoe Doesn’t Fit: If there’s a gap between the shoe and your heel and arch areas, then the shoe is too long and too wide. This can cause your foot to shift around while walking, leading to pain and discomfort. In this case, she probably chose a style that was too wide for her foot.

The next time you shop for shoes, measure your feet for both length and width.

Extreme Height: One of the most common problems with high heels is pain under the ball of the foot. The higher the heel means more stress on the ball of your foot, ankle, and knee. Some features you should look for when you shop for heels are:

  1. The thickness underneath the ball of the foot will offset some of the heel height and may offer better cushioning than a shoe with a thin sole.
  2. A chunky heel is preferable to a stiletto heel – it’s more stable.
  3. A heel that is positioned more toward the back of the shoe is more stable than a heel positioned more toward the center of the shoe.

Not Enough Coverage: Strappy shoes will allow too much motion on an already unsteady, elevated heel. Too much walking in strappy high heels will leave you with tired, sore feet and put you at risk for an ankle sprain. Instead of these, you should choose styles that fit the shape of your foot and offer adequate material to hold your foot in the shoe.

Toe Torture: Pointy-toed shoes just look painful, don’t they? Besides the toes being pushed into a cramped space, there is an issue with the shoe’s toe material not covering enough of the toes. This forces the toes to work harder at keeping you stable, possibly leading to toe contractures, such as hammer toes. Instead, you should opt for a shoe that has more material across the toes and a rounded toe box.

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