HIGH HEELS: WEAR THEM SMARTER

Ahh – here in the Midwest we are starting to feel the glory of fall approaching, waking to 60 degree mornings.  It makes us feel like we will soon be able to wear all the new glorious looks splashed across our fall magazines and catalogs. While flipping through the pages one thing was once again clear.  High heels aren’t going anywhere and will continue to have full attention this fall.  Everything from cap-toed pumps, spike-heeled booties, and stacked heels are gracing the pages and stores this fall.  While we still have options of stylish, flirty flats, and the New Block Heel, high heels are still front and center.

ImagePhotography by Peter Stitger

Many of my sisters on crutches have their fashionista tendencies to blame.  So, instead of telling you how bad high heels are for our feet, knowing full and well we plan to suffer anyway, I thought maybe serving up some tips on how to best wear high heels would be more helpful to all of us.

Here are some great suggestions to consider when wearing/buying high heels.  The following is straight from WebMd, with Morris Morin, DPM, director of podiatric medicine at the Hackensack University Medical Center, and podiatrist Stuart Mogul, DPM.

  1. Get the best-fitting high heel possible.  While this may seem like a given, stop and think: How many pairs of high heels cause your feet to slide to the front, leaving a gap big enough for a small cell phone behind your heel?  Mogul says high heels that don’t fit properly cause the front of the foot to fly forward, creating more pressure — and pain — on toes. Look for narrow heels with a snug but not tight fit to correct the problem.
  2. Cushion, cushion, cushion. While a full-shoe insert can help, if you have pain in the ball of the foot — or you’ll be standing in your heels a long time — invest in silicone metatarsal pads. They look like flattened gummy bears, but they do a super job of shock absorption, says Morin. “It’s like replacing the fat padding you lost.”
  3. Wear a thicker heel for stability. “A thicker heel will give you better balance and may help relieve some pressure by distributing the weight on your foot more evenly, says Morin.  Alternating heel heights can also help reduce problems with the Achilles tendon.
  4. Pay attention to the “slope” or “pitch” of the heel.  While some 4-inch heels will give you a straight drop down to the flatbed portion of the shoe, others will be a more gradual slope. This may be easier on the arch, says Morin, and might help relieve some pain in the ball of the foot.
  5. Wear open-toe high heels to relieve pressure on corns and calluses. See a podiatrist to have corns and calluses professionally removed and correct the problem that’s causing them. But if that’s not possible, opt for open-toe shoes to take pressure off inflamed areas.

These are tips we can live with – we just need to find the RIGHT 4-inch heels!

photography by Peter Stitger
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