In preparation for Houston's long, hot summer, many of us have put away our sweaters, long trousers, and coats. While adjusting your clothes for the season, why not give your feet a rest as well? Your feet may thank you for ditching your high-heels over the next few months.
Why Women Need A Break From Their High Heels
Although most women laugh about the discomfort they experience after spending the day or night in high heels, a few of them are aware of the potential harm that their shoe habit may be creating. Even Sarah Jessica Parker, better known by her character Carrie Bradshaw, the virtual ambassador for high heels, has admitted that her longtime habit of wearing Manolos caused her to develop bone spurs and bunions.
High heels can also cause neuromas, which lead to pain in the ball of the foot; plantar fasciitis, which produces sharp heel pain; hammertoes, or an unnatural curling of the toes; pump bumps, or a growth of the bone on the back of the foot; and bunions, which, while genetic, can be made worse by consistently wearing high heels.
If you're wondering why those heels are so harmful for you, consider the physics: when you walk in high heels, the front of your foot must sustain up to 80% of your body weight. This puts a lot of additional strain on your feet's bones, resulting in all of the issues mentioned above.
High heels may also make it difficult to wear any other kind of shoe since they shorten your calf muscles and cause the Achilles tendon to thicken and stiffen. If you wear heels regularly enough, the calf muscle fibers may permanently shrink, making it uncomfortable to walk on flat feet.
How to Break Free From High Heels
So, what's a high-heeled shoe aficionado to do? This summer, give your feet a breather and follow these easy tips to minimize irreversible foot damage:
Wear your high heels no more than twice a week. If you must wear heels every day for work, consider supportive shoes for your commute and switch to heels once you reach your workplace.
Choose shoes with heels that are less than two inches high.
Avoid stilettos; a broader heel will provide you with additional support.
Look for shoes that have more cushioning in the ball of the foot and/or rubber soles. If you can't find a shoe with these cushions, a simple shoe insert may provide the necessary cushioning.