Podiatry experts and fashionistas have always been at war over this topic. Is the constant use of heels safe for women, or is it worth the health risks? One way or the other, here are a few expert tips to keep your feet healthy and happy, while flaunting ‘em gorgeous heels!
1. Make sure you are wearing the right shoe size – Foot size changes over the years, even as much as one full size, especially after having kids. Have your feet sized once a year, if you haven’t done it before, do it right now.
2. Educate yourself on your own foot type – Know your foot type. Find out how much your foot is flattening, or how high an arch you have. Take yourself to a podiatrist or wet your foot and step onto a piece of construction paper. Study the impression your foot makes. Knowing your foot type can help you understand why your feet are in pain.
3. The thicker the heel, the better – Avoid thin heels – the stilettos. They cause your foot to wobble around. Sometimes, the dress is just going to call for a stiletto. Go for it, as long as it is occasional. If you’re wearing stilettos everyday, you might want to consider a chunkier heel style and change it up a bit.
4. Avoid thin soles, opt for platform - Thin soles will almost always give you pain on the bottom of your foot. You want a thicker sole or a little bit of a platform, which will offset some of the pressure when you’re walking. A rubbery material will absorb that pressure.
5. Take breaks - Kick your shoes off throughout the day and stretch your ankles and toes.
6. Stretch your feet after you take your shoes off - The stretches that you should do are the stretches that will target the front of the foot and ankle, like pointing your toes down, and pulling your toes up with a strap to get the Achilles’ tendon and the calf muscles. And then side to side to get to the instep and the outside of the foot.
7. Try a shoe with more coverage up top - The more coverage you have on the top of your foot, the better. Sometimes high-heeled boots are actually something you can wear all day and they don’t bother your feet as much. In the summer, you can try something with an ankle strap or a big wide strap across the top. If you’re prone to blisters and friction, you might want to try that style, something that covers more of the top of your foot.
8. Those over-the-counter shoe inserts really do help - One thing to try are the over-the-counter products that market themselves for high heels. They are called metatarsal or ball of the foot pads. They are oval-shaped pads that go under the ball of the foot, usually made from a silicone gel. They combat the soreness under the ball of the foot. Especially if it’s made of silicone, it will hold your foot more steady in the shoe so your feet aren’t sliding forward as much, which will protect your toes from friction and blisters.