We’ve all been there. You’ve chosen a gorgeous pair of high heels to go with your dress for the Christmas party. The shoes look amazing, but halfway through the night you’re crippled with agony because your feet feel like they’re walking on broken glass.
So how does wearing high heels affect our body?
When you wear flat shoes the pressure from your body usually runs throughout your whole foot. However in heels your whole body weight is going through the ball of your foot just behind the toes. If your feet aren’t used to this the extra weight can be painful.
Wearing high heels can also force your toes into a cramped space which may lead to blisters, ingrown toenails and hammer toe.
Wearing high heels regularly can shorten the Achilles tendon. Over time your Achilles will tighten up so it becomes uncomfortable to walk in flat shoes. To help combat this try standing on a step with your heels over the edge. Gently lower your heels below the step to stretch your Achilles tendon. Repeat 20 times.
Wearing heels of any height changes how you walk and stand, and the higher the heel, the greater the change. Putting your weight on your toes causes the body to lean forward, and you then lean backwards to try and compensate for this, which puts pressure on your lower back. If you wear heels higher than three inches regularly you’re more prone to lower back pain.
The change in your posture wearing heels will also affect your knees, and put pressure on the inside of the knee. After time this can lead to arthritis.
So, what should you consider when wearing heels?
Change the heel height
Mix up your shoes and alternate each day between flats, low heels and high heels to give you and your feet a break. You could also wear flats to work and change into heels once you’re at the office.
Be aware of your posture
If you find yourself strutting with your weight forward, rather than walking, the heels are too high. Be mindful of how you’re standing and walking, and remember to stand up straight with soft knees.
Use hidden help
Use cushions and pads that fit in your shoes to make your feet more comfortable. You can get discreet pads that cushion your heels, toes and balls of your feet. Scholl do some specifically for party shoes.
Make sure your shoes fit. It sounds obvious but often we squeeze our feet into shoes too small for us, which is not only uncomfortable, but will give you the symptoms mentioned above.
Finally, if you’re only wearing heels once in a while, then you shouldn’t see any lasting effects. However, if your body is suffering from your shoes then give us a call on 020 8316 5316 to see how we can help.