How To Wear High Heels: a Podiatrist’s View

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It’s been said that a woman who puts on a pair of high heels instantly changes. It’s worth noting that we used the word “woman” because, even though men donned heels regularly in centuries past and men in heels were spotted as recently as the fall 2017 New York fashion show, men are simply not the ones putting on heels on a daily basis. So does wearing high heels really change a woman? If so, how does it change her? It depends on your point of view!

According to women who love heels….

·         they feel “transformed”

·         they carry themselves differently

·         they don’t feel dressed up without them

·         if they’re short, they enjoy feeling tall

·         they expect and put up with foot pain

According to a woman’s podiatrist…

·         Heels do transform, but not just in a psychological way. There’s a physical transformation going on, too. When a woman wears high heels, she’s changing her body’s overall alignment. And that can spell pain in places much higher than the feet.

·         High heels force a person to put most of her weight on the balls of her feet. So someone moving around in heels is constantly expending lots of energy trying not to pitch forward: she arches her back and throws her hips out of alignment in order to stay upright, which can lead to back pain and knee pain.

·         A life in heels can eventually cause foot issues like chronic ankle instability, Achilles tendonitis, bunions, Morton’s neuroma, or other nerve pain issues.

Everything in moderation

If you love wearing heels, follow these three suggestions to keep your feet and your whole body happy, offered by the podiatrists at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Center in Monmouth County, New Jersey:

  1. Don’t wear them every day. Change them up with flats.
  2. Try to limit your time in heels to a few hours a day.
  3. Avoid super stiletto heights in favor of a more modest 2- or 3-inch heel.

Dr. Samantha Boyd, Dr. Hal Ornstein, and Dr. Joseph Saka agree with the TV character Cliff from Cheers, who philosophized in the series finale that the secret to life may just be comfortable shoes! For tips on staying comfortable in shoes, or to fix a foot problem your heels have caused, don’t hesitate to call us at (732) 905-1110. Or, make an appointment online to see us at our offices in Jackson or Howell.