People who love the fashion statement that these sharp, elevated high heels make, may despair at the thought of giving them up but a good routine of foot care for high heels ensures healthy feet and longevity for the footwear too.
Effect of High Heels On Foot Health
High heels throw weight onto the ball of the foot; lead to callus, painful bunions, corns and deformity. They may also push the center of mass in the body forwards, causing the spine to bend backwards to recompense, which can lead to back problems. Other problems with high heels are that the position of the foot in the shoe and narrow heel width can cause the ankle to become unstable, resulting in ankle sprains or the calf muscles shortening. This is especially true for those wearing high heels for over 6 months and the body compensating for this tightness by lowering the arch of the foot, or affecting the knee, hip or back.
Tips From Podiatric Specialists: Foot Care For High Heels
The foremost recommendation by leading podiatric practitioners is to avoid wearing high heels every day and save them for special occasions as this helps to minimize the risk of developing foot problems.
• Wearing sports or walking shoes, for commuting to and from work and changing into the beloved high heels once at the destination, is one way of ensuring healthy feet.
• Limiting the heel height to an inch and a half and the time-period for wearing them (half a day instead of the full day) minimizes wear and tear of the heels and ensures comfort as well.
• Foot care for high heels also includes alternating the shoe choice throughout the day or from one day to the next.
• Backless high heel shoes force toes to claw as one walks, resulting in straining the muscles if worn over a long period. These kind of high heels should be limited to an occasional evening of glamour.
• Varying shoe types and days, with an everyday heel height limit of about 4 cm goes a long way in preventing foot problems related to high heels.
• High heels with a strap or lace over the instep are a better bet than slip-ons as these prevent the foot from sliding forward and are the seatbelt in the shoe.
• Exercising calf muscles keeps a good range of movement. Stretching calf and heel requires one to stand facing a wall with feet hip width apart and slightly bent at the knee. Taking one step forward and using the arms to lean against the wall, the leg in front is bent while the leg behind, straight. Both feet flat on the ground, the person is required to lean in towards the wall, and feel the muscles stretching in the calf and heel. Holding and slowly returning to a standing position with a repetition of five times for each leg, ensures immediate foot care for high heel wearers.