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The Lowdown on High Heels

By June 19, 2023September 22nd, 2023No Comments

by Diet Detective Editorial Staff

You’re not doing your feet any favors by cramming them into your favorite stilettos every day.

How often do you find yourself complaining about foot pain because of the shoes you’re wearing? In an average lifetime, a person will walk more than 110,000 miles or roughly, four miles a day. Our feet bear the brunt of our weight, which adds up to several hundred tons of pressure a day. Women are much more likely than men to experience severe foot pain. In fact, they account for 80 percent of all foot problems, and one of the main culprits is the high-heeled shoe. Many women simply ignore the pain and stuff their feet into the same stilettos every day. High heels put added tension on the ball of your foot. After so much stress, a woman may develop neuromas, nerve enlargements in the foot, or metatarsalgia, pain in the ball of the foot caused by abnormal pressure. For years, high heels have been designed to constrict the foot by up to an inch. To top that, women have also been known to buy shoes that are too small, just because they like the style.

So how can you save your feet without sacrificing fashion?

Noreen Oswell, D.P.M., a podiatrist in Los Angeles, says, “A one-and-a-half to two-inch chunky heel is perfect. The toe area of the shoe should be high enough so the toes can move. Finding high heels with cushioned insoles will add a lot of comfort.” She adds, “Shoes should be bought at the end of the day, when the feet are slightly swollen. If you buy shoes first thing in the morning, they won’t fit later on.” Also, if the shoes aren’t comfortable in the store, you shouldn’t buy them.

Most podiatrists say wearing high heels may result in improper posture and muscle imbalances, not to mention arthritis in the knee and lower back pain. If you just have to wear your heels at work, consider a compromise.

Oswell says, “Women should wear tennis shoes to and from work. They should avoid wearing high heels on the weekends, especially when shopping at the grocery store or mall. If women walk too much in heels, they may get tendonitis, corns, calluses and blisters. Tendonitis will cause a woman’s lower back to sway. If you have bunions or hammertoes, go to a shoe repair shop and have your shoes stretched.” Oswell suggests wearing flats occasionally, to alleviate the pressure heels put on your feet and to allow your feet to move. Think of it as giving your piggies a vacation.