This past weekend Atlantic City hosted the Miss America pageant for the first time since 2004 and Miss New York, Nina Davuluri, won the coveted crown! Could those Skyscraper shoes she wore in the “Show Us Your Shoe’s” parade have helped her win?
As fashion changes, runways are full of higher heels, pointier toes, and more creative styles: Think Lady Gaga’s famous backless shoes, or Sarah Jessica Parkers character, Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City who helped make Manolo Blahnik a household name! At one point her character realizes she could have paid for her entire apartment had she not bought so many shoes. Now the Miss America Pageant has a parade dedicated to shoes!
But what is our love of heels doing to us, other than breaking the bank? Could you be getting foot problems from high heels? When wearing heels, your body weight is transferred forward onto the balls of your feet. This affects how your entire body responds, making it common to have ankle, knee, hip, spine, and even neck pain. Shoes with pointy toes are a concern too because they cram your toes into an unnatural shape, with the added heel height causing crushed toes to carry your entire body weight.
Over time, heels can cause your Achilles tendon, the tendon that attaches your calf muscles to your heel, to shorten. This restricts movement and won’t allow you to move your foot up and down normally. You can also develop other foot problems such as:
- Arch pain
Some high heels can even make you lose your balance, injuring an ankle or possibly more. All of this information doesn’t stop women from wearing their beloved heels. According to a recent survey, 42% of women admitted they would wear a shoe that they liked, even if it was painful. If you must wear heels, here are 7 tips to prevent pain and suffering:
1. Only wear heels for special occasions when absolutely necessary
2. Keep a pair of flats in your bag so you can do the majority of your walking comfortably, and put the heels on at your destination
3. Cushion your feet with an added insert or orthotic
4. Make sure the heels fit. (Think loose straps and room for your feet to slide.)
5. Wear a thicker heel
6. Don’t be extreme! Wear a lower heel.
7. Try open-toed shoes to prevent crowding
The good news is that you don’t have to live in pain. If you have noticed any of the symptoms discussed, don’t hesitate to set up an appointment with Hollowbrook Foot Specialist in Wappingers Falls. Dr. Schlam will work with you to find options that can help you get back on your feet in no time.
By David Schlam