It's not surprising that high heel shoes can cause a variety of different foot problems. Bunions, hammertoe, metatarsalgia, and Achilles tendon damage are just a few of the problems that can result from the prolonged use of high heel shoes. Yet many women are willing to accept the potential negative consequences of wearing high heel shoes for appearance's sake. Fortunately, there are a few things that can be done to minimize the chances that foot problems will result from high heel use.
The following are a few tips for wearing high heel shoes without risking painful and inconvenient foot problems in the future:
Size shoes carefully and intelligently
A shoe that doesn't feel right is not only uncomfortable, it's also likely to harm your foot. If you can't find a size in a certain pair of heels that fits properly, it's better to shop around some more. With patience, you'll find a pair that looks great and fits right.
Did you know that the foot naturally swells throughout the day? This makes it best to shop for heels towards the end of the day. That way, you'll be less likely to get a pair of shoes that's too tight and doesn't leave quite enough room for this natural swelling.
Consider thicker heels
Those pencil-thin heels might have a risqué appeal- and a tendency to impress onlookers with the wearer's seemingly supernatural sense of balance- but they are also harder on the feet. Thicker heels allow for more support and stability, so buy a shoe with a thicker heel if want to minimize the potential for foot damage.
Avoid a steep slope
Heels with a gradual slope between the toe and the heel are easier on both the arch and the ball of the foot. A gradual slope also tends to reduce the amount of pressure on the toes.
Wear heels with an open toe
A lot of the high heel problems that affect the toes- such as corns, callouses, and hammertoe- can be minimized or avoided with open-toe heels. Open-toe heels save the toes from much of the pressure and stress that typically result from wearing high heels.
Cushion the feet
Inserts and pads can help relieve the feet from some of the added pressure that results from wearing high heels. There are many different product that can to some extent remedy high heel-induced foot problems. These include corn cushions, blister pads, callus cushions, and moleskin padding.
If you are having foot problems, visit a podiatrist near you, such as The Podiatry Center.