How to Wear High Heels (If You Must)
Stop us if you’ve heard this one: high heels are bad for your feet.
Unfortunately, the conventional wisdom on this one is mostly true. Extended use of high heels, particularly those of certain styles, can either cause or catalyze a lot of common foot problems. They can pinch toes and toenails, wear out the balls of your feet, lead to joint and back pain, and increase the risk of bunions, hammertoes, or bad ankle sprains—just to name a few.
But that doesn’t mean you’re going to swear off heels forever, right? Many women still enjoy wearing heels and like how they make their legs look. We understand you’ll probably still want to put on a pair from time to time, so here’s how to wear high heels—if you must:
- Limit usage. Wearing high heels all day, every day is asking for trouble. Ideally you should save this type of footwear for special events or social occasions, and then only for a few hours at a time. If you need them for a midday or evening engagement, bring along a pair of more comfortable shoes to change in and out of.
- Lower is better. Study after study shows that the higher the heel, the greater your risk of injury—and the more severe those injuries tend to be. We recommend you completely avoid any shoe with a heel greater than 2 inches in height.
- More surface contact = more stability. A big, chunky heel is going to offer you a lot more balance and stability than a spikey stiletto. Thicker heels mean less wobble and lower injury risk.
- Find the right size. Wearing shoes that don’t fit is probably the No. 1 mistake people make with any shoe type. Always get your feet sized before buying a pair of heels, for both length and width, and don’t try to cram your feet into a shoe that doesn’t fit (even if it’s really cute!).
- Support yourself. As with any type of footwear, it’s critical that your high heels offer adequate cushioning and arch support, matched to your foot shape and needs. Avoid shoes with super-thin soles as well.
At Family Foot & Ankle Center, we can help you minimize your risk of pain and injury from your high heels. We carry a selection of Vionic footwear, which are scientifically designed with features that help your feet be cushioned, supported, and properly aligned. We can also fit you with orthotics for your heels and other shoes.
To schedule an appointment with us in Jasper, IN, please complete our contact form or give us a call at (812) 481-7200.