For most women a pair of high heels is all they need to lift their moods. Who doesn’t want a sassy Manolo? But if it seems that those heels are no longer as comfortable as they were years ago, then you’re one good observer.
Experts say that our feet change as we age. Some of these changes make it uncomfortable to wear high heels once you’ve reached your 40s and 50s. Talk about midlife crisis; they apply to our feet, too!
So what has changed over the years? As you age, the bottom of your foot loses fat. These fatty deposits protect the ball of foot. Some fat also slides forward to protect your toes.
When you wear stilettos and step down, your weight is thrown on the area of the foot where there is less protection. In extreme cases the bony part of the foot grates down into the shoe’s sole, with little to no protection at all. This does not just cause foot pain, but it may also increase your chances of having a stress fracture or even osteoarthritis of the feet.
Some doctors would attempt to repad the foot with the use of silicone or wrinkle-filling injections, but experts say that it’s not a good idea. These injectables are not made to withstand the pressure of your body weight. Also, they don’t last and they easily move around.
Furthermore, the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society warns women against these injections and other cosmetic procedures that involve the feet. They warn consumers that the risks – infection, difficulty walking, and nerve injury – outweigh the benefits.
A better idea is to use arch support insoles for foot pain. Heavily padded insoles work as a buffer between the foot and ground, and that’s what you need to avoid pain at the bottom of the foot.
Finally, if you’ve been wearing high heels most of your life, your Achilles tendon may shrink. This tendon runs from the back part of the heel to your calf. When the Achilles tendon shrinks, you will feel pain even when wearing low-heeled shoes or you may be unable to walk barefoot. One thing you can do is to perform stretching exercises like what runners do. In rare cases, surgery may be needed to lengthen the tendon.
Tips to Protect Your Feet When Using High Heels
We know that you love high heels, so there’s no point to try to convince you to wear sneakers instead. Also, those stunning stilettos would be put to waste if all you can do is look at them and admire them from afar.What we can do for you, though, is to give you tips on how you can protect your feet when using high heels.
Choose high heels that fit your feet the best!
While this may seem something that every woman would do, many actually make mistakes when choosing their footwear. Do you have high heels that cause your feet to slide forward? If you do, then you’re not choosing your footwear properly. When the front of the foot flies forward, there is more pressure and pain on your toes. Go for narrow heels that are snug but are not too tight.
While shoe inserts are helpful, it is best to use metatarsal pads that are made of silicone.
These pads are ideal for people who are experiencing pain in the ball of foot as they are excellent shock absorbers. Metatarsal pads replace the fat padding that you lost throughout the years.
Go for thicker heels for stability
Thicker heels may relieve some of the pressure by distributing your weight more evenly on your foot. They also give you better balance. You can also alternate heel heights to help minimize problems involving the Achilles tendon.
Mind the slope of the heel
Some four-inch heels have a straight drop down to the flat part of the shoe. Others have a more gradual slope. You want the latter as it’s easier on the arch of the foot and may help relieve some of the pain on the ball of foot.
Wear open-toe shoes to relieve any pressure on corns and calluses
Visit a podiatrist to have your corns and calluses removed and to know what’s causing them. If you are not able to see a podiatrist, go for open-toe shoes to relieve pressure on areas that are already inflamed.
Now that you know how to avoid foot pain from wearing high heels, check if your shoes need changing. And always pay attention to any change in your feet.