High heels: Here’s why you should give your feet a break

By December 4, 2013Foot Care

There’s little more satisfying than putting on a killer pair of high heels to make a woman feel confident and ready for the day.

The thing is, high heels aren’t all they’re cracked up to be, and every season they seem to get higher, with narrower heels and less support. Over time this can (unfortunately) cause long-term problems. We take a look at the most common issues women face by ‘subjecting’ their feet to the stress of high heels on a regular basis.

  • In order to maintain balance, a woman automatically tenses her calves, hips and back muscles – which often leads to muscle cramps.
  • High heels and other pointed-toe shoes put chronic pressure on our ‘big’ toes, which can lead to ingrown toenails and other nasty things like skin infections and nail trauma.
  • A whopping 64% of women who wear high heels report pain in their heels, soles of their feet and ankles.
  • High heels put additional pressure on the inside of a woman’s knee, which can increase her risk of developing osteoarthritis later on in life.

The bad news is the higher the heel the higher the risk is.

  • When we wear high heels, we automatically lean forward and the natural curve in our back decreases, which means we land up over-using our muscles and this in turn causes back pain.
  • With heels, there is more pressure on the soles of our feet, which can lead to hammer toes and bunions (lovely!).

Really, this should be enough to convince us to give our feet a break and wear flats a few days a week. However, for many women that’s simply not an option. Think: Victoria Beckham – have you EVER seen her in flats?! So, if you’re one who doesn’t like wearing anything less than an 8cm heel on a daily basis, then here’s what you can do to help counteract the negative effects:

  • Do yoga exercises and stretches on a regular basis
  • Focus on stretches that work the back of the leg muscles and,
  • Wear cushioned inserts and heel grips
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