High heels can make your legs look longer, improve the shape of your rear end, and make you feel more confident. For all of these reasons, women around the world love to wear heels. But, these shoes can put a lot of strain on your feet and legs. Read on to learn how to keep your body healthy and still indulge in your high heel addiction.
Choose Shoes with a Gentle Incline
The steeper the angle between your heel and your toe, the more pressure is placed on the ball of your foot when you stand and walk. Try wearing platform heels to keep the added height of heels but minimize the angle of your foot in the shoe.Beware the Shape of the Toe Box
A sharply pointed toe box is the height of fashion, but it can wreak havoc on your toes and the bones in your foot by pinching them together. Over time, this can lead to Morton’s neuroma, a nerve condition that causes burning in the ball of the foot and between the toes. Choose shoes with a toe box wide enough to accommodate your foot. Sandal-style heels with a completely open toe can greatly reduce trauma to your toes.
Wider Heels Provide Greater Stability
Twisted ankles are a common problem among high heel aficionados. Stilettos and other shoes with lots of height and a very narrow heel are the biggest culprits. To improve your ankle stability, choose chunkier heels with a wider contact patch with the ground. Again, platform heels are a good choice.
Buy the Right Size
Being sure that you buy shoes that are not only the correct length and width for your feet will help your feet stay healthy. It prevents pinching and rubbing, minimizing strain on bones, ligaments, and nerves in your feet as well as lowering your risk of developing ingrown toenails, corns, bunions, and blisters.
To prevent muscle strain and permanent shortening of the tendons in your calves, stretch your feet and legs often, whether you’re wearing heels that day or not. From a seated position, lift your leg out in front of you and point your heel away from your body, turning your toes back towards you, to get a good foot and lower leg stretch.
If you are a newbie to the world of high heels, don’t put them on and head out the door for a 12 hour day on your feet. Try wearing heels around the house for 20 minutes at a time to slowly build up the muscles you need to maintain ankle stability and let the tendons in your knees, ankles, and feet get accustomed to the new position. Try walking on carpet initially to soften the impact on your joints.
Don’t Wear Them Every Day
Very high heels are not shoes for everyday wear. While it is possible to minimize the damage they do to your body, you cannot erase it completely. Pick and choose when to wear heels, and save the sky-high stilettos for very special occasions when you’ll have ample opportunity to get off your feet.
To lessen the impact on your feet, buy some gel inserts to place in the footbed of your favorite pair of heels. The added cushioning can really help make heels more comfortable. If you plan to do this, consider bringing some insoles with you when shoe shopping to make sure you buy a size that can accommodate both your feet and the insoles comfortably.
Keep Toenails Groomed
To lower your chances of developing ingrown toenails due to wearing heels, keep your toenails neatly groomed. Keep the nails short and file down any sharp edges, and keep your feet clean to minimize bacterial growth. This decreases your chances of infection and keeps your feet smelling nice.
Practice At Home
If you are just buying your first pair of heels, take some time to practice walking in them at home before wearing them out in public. This will give you the chance to learn to navigate stairs and other obstacles and to figure out how to walk in a straight line without looking silly. Practice in front of a mirror for best results.
By following these tips, you will be able to enjoy the benefits of wearing heels while avoiding the potential bodily injury and embarrassment that can come along with them.