My cousin sister was complaining about her feet pain after wearing her shoes for the entire day. I looked at her shoes and I told her that her high heel shoes were too high. She disagreed and kept claiming that hers were just moderate high compared to her friend’s one.
High heel shoes are “must have” or “always to buy” item in women’s fashion. Wherever women go shopping, when they see shoes, they like trying on them. The reason high heels are so popular because of these reasons:
Why Women Like High Heel Shoes
- They make women appear taller. Imagine wearing a 8.5 cm (3.5 inches) high heels, the wearer stands out from the rest of her peers.
- High heel shoes make the legs appear longer and make the feet look smaller.
- They also change the gait (way of walking) in a manner which is considered seductive. As high heels change the angle of the foot with respect to the lower leg and making the calves to be noticed.
- The heels lifted the butts and make them look more defined with tight pants.
However, wearing high heel shoes frequently, you may have problem not only to your feet, but also to other parts of your body. In fact, from scientific perspective, high heels do not provide any value biomechanically and orthopedically. Read on to find out more.
Health Problems Associated with High Heel Shoes
- Here are the feet problem:
- You may have corns and calluses which are the hardened layers of skin developed in areas of friction between your shoe and foot. If your front toe box is too narrow, coupled with high heel, your foot slides forward into that area, creating pressure point on your foot.
- If your toes are forced against the front of the shoe for long period of time, hammertoe will take place. It is an unnatural bending of your toes at the middle joint.
- You may also risk tightening and shortening your Achilles tendon. This is a strong cord connecting your calf muscle to your heel bone. Achilles tendon helps you to rise your toes, point your foot downward and push off as you walk. Because high heels prevent your feet from coming in contact with the ground, your Achilles tendon will not be able to fully stretched. Over time, these tendons contract to a stage which you feel uncomfortable to wear flat shoes.
- Flat shoes distribute your weight over the entire foot. But, high heel causes you to shift more weight to the ball of your foot. After some time, you may feel strain and pain on your forefoot. Imagine you have to walk more than 5000 steps a day, the pressure will make things over time.
- Not only your feet, you put pressure on your lower back. Because the heels cause your body to point forward than normal, you may suffer from lower back strain.
- High heels put the pelvis in a tipped forward position. You will naturally move your head with your chin jutting forward for balancing purpose. By doing that, you put strain on the muscles that support your neck. These muscles are tight for long hours and eventually your neck may feel pain.
- Last but not least, I have heard experience shared by my female colleagues of sprained ankle and even injury caused by fall.
After reading the health problems you may have with high heels, you are worried yet you simply do not want to give up the shoes, what to do? Here are some tips:
Tips in Wearing High Heel Shoes Safely
- Try not to wear them every day. Alternate days in stilettos with flat shoes. You can also wear flat shoes for walking long distance and only change them to high heels once you get to work in office. If possible, save your high heel shoes only for special occasions.
- When you are buying high heel shoes, avoid those which crowd the toes in a little closed end triangle which is tight fitting and pointy-toed.
- Apart from that, get those with wider soles which actually absorb more shock and distributing your weight on slightly larger area and therefore creating less pressure on your feet.
- Some people have success by using Insolia. It is a component designed to the pain associated with wearing high-heeled shoes by adjusting weight distribution back toward the heel. This is done by altering the geometry of the insole, rather than with padding. Qantas, which is a major Australian, was reported to buy Insolia component for its flight attendants which have to stand over many hours on long distance flights.
- Go for leather, microfiber, or nylon mesh material which allows flexibility.
- The better option is still to get the lower heel which is an inch or less.
- Shop for high heels in the afternoon or evening when you feet expand the most. Shoes fit just nice in the morning could feel tight in the afternoon.
- At the end of the day, you can soak your feet in lukewarm water to make them feel better.
Many women admit that high heels giving them different feet problem or make their feet hurt, but I believe they will still tolerate the discomfort or health risk in order to look stylish, taller and may be, more professional. But if the problem get worse and you are getting older, it is time to go flat. Love your feet. They are our base of support. Do not let your sense of style compromise your ability to stand, sit or walk pain-free.
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