High Heel Shoes
Many women find it hard to say no to beautiful shoes even if wearing them comes at the expense of comfort. The price for wearing unhealthy shoes is paid not only upon purchasing them, but also when various health problems start to emerge several years after.
In “Sex and the City”, during one of the episodes Carrie Bradshaw is horrified when she discovers that she has invested about 40,000 dollars in her sexy high heel shoes collection, while that amount could be used, for example, as a down payment to purchase the apartment that she rents. Unfortunately, the financial cost is not the only “crime” here, since about 70% of women in the Western world suffer from various feet-related problems, while most of the time the shoes are to blame, and high heel shoes in particular.
Many women find it hard to say no to beautiful shoes even if wearing them comes at the expense of comfort. Such weakness not only involves significant financial expenses, but also physical pain, blisters and foot deformities as a result of a daily hopping in narrow and pointy high heel shoes. Meanwhile, most men are completely satisfied by wearing comfort shoes that fit their foot shape and therefore, they suffer from much fewer foot problems than women do.
Pain in deformities available in all sizes
Starting from the early age and for the rest of our lives, our feet carry the entire weight of our body most of the day. Over the years, constant discomfort turns into a wide range of problem indicators. Pain can appear in the feet, other parts of the legs or in the lower and upper back. Minor damages include skin abrasion and blisters caused by the pressure of the shoe or due to the fact that the shoe doesn’t allow correct distribution of weight on the foot. Do avoid the problem, it is important to wear comfortable, wide and soft shoes that allow comfortable movement.
Another common problem, especially among older women, is a pain in the ball of the foot caused by pressure on the heads of the five metatarsal bones of the toes. This problem is often successfully treated by adding insoles or by adjusting orthopedic shoes, in which the front part of the shoe is slightly pointed upward.
Various defects that may cause pain and discomfort also become an aesthetic problem. Narrow shoes and high heels often lead to deviation of the big toes outward, which may also affect other toes.
A protruding and misplaced big toe becomes a source of a constant discomfort, pain and inflammation. Bunion may be treated by wearing comfortable shoes with special switches, while in some cases a surgery may be required.
Another deformation caused be high heel shoes is a “hammertoe” – a condition involving inability to straighten the central toe joint along with a protrusion of the toe upwards resulting in abrasion and blisters.
When wearing high heel shoes, the forefoot is inclined downward, while the toes are moving upward, creating an angle between the foot and the toes. As a result, ligaments responsible for stabilizing the joints of the toe bases, located at the bottom of the foot, are being stretched, while the upper ligaments are loosening. This deformation can also be treated by comfort shoes with soft front, although in more severe cases surgical intervention may be required.
High heel shoes force the foot to remain in an unnatural slope-like position. This causes an accelerated erosion of the knee cartilage and shortening tissue of the thigh’s front part. In addition, high heel shoes often cause stumbling and even bruises and other damages due to their instability.
Ideal situation – a bare foot
One of the most prominent implications of wearing high heels is body’s adaptation to an unnatural position, which leads to an incorrect and unhealthy posture. The most natural condition is being barefoot, since in this state the foot is not limited at all. Therefore, the ideal shoe should provide the feeling of being barefoot. Shoes that fit this description the most are MBT shoes that were designed to imitate body movement when walking barefoot on soft surfaces.
It is recommended to buy shoes during the second half of the day, since by then your feet become wider due to accumulation of fluids. It is important to try on both shoes and in case you use insoles – use them when you choose a new pair of shoes. Try moving your toes to make sure there is enough space for them to move, but not too much, since the shoe should provide sufficient foot support. It is also recommended to select shoes with a soft and flexible sole made of “breathing” material in order to reduce sweating.
So, what about the high heels?
To be realistic, it seems that women will not be too quick to give up on the high heels and will continue to suffer for beauty. Although, you should keep in mind that there different types of high heel shoes. Some of the are less harmful than the others, so you do have options to reduce discomfort and damage caused to you feet. Following are several valuable recommendations:
Shoes with thin heels are much less stable than platform shoes and therefore, they are more likely to cause falls. On the other hand, the platform shoe’s sole is often more rigid due to its thickness and it is not flexible enough for a natural foot movement. It is recommended to try wearing shoes of both types before you decide which pair suits you best.
Preferably, heel height should not exceed 5 cm – the less the better. A wider heel means better stability and comfort. In addition, make sure that the difference in slope between the foot front and heel does not exceed 3 cm.
If the front of the shoe is extremely narrow (pointed-toe shoes), make sure that your toes don’t reach the shoe’s end. If in such case the shoe seems too big and falls off your foot – give it up and try a different pair.