Whether you enjoy a boost of height or just like the confidence that wearing high heels can give you, you may ignore or brush off your podiatrist's caution that these shoes aren't the best thing for your orthopedic health. But in some cases, wearing too-tight shoes or those that offer support in all the wrong places can literally cripple your ability to wear anything but orthopedic shoes in the future. Read on to learn more about protecting your feet without giving up high heels.
Choose shoes wisely
Wearing ill-fitting shoes can be far more harmful than heels alone. Shoes that pinch your feet can constrict nerves, blood vessels, and tendons, leading to tarsal tunnel (similar to carpal tunnel), Morton's neuroma, and other painful conditions. On the other side of the coin, too-loose shoes can pose a tripping hazard.
Because heels tend to thrust most of your body's weight onto the ball of your foot, it's crucial to choose shoes that are not only well-fitting, but that provide some extra support to this area. Shoes with thin soles can force the ball of your foot to make nearly direct contact with the hard ground. Not only can this harm your foot, it can place additional strain on your ankles, knees, hips, and other joints, hastening the advent of osteoarthritis.
If you're a fan of inexpensive high heels, it may be time to upgrade your look by investing in some insoles or some higher-end shoes that provide the extra support you need.
Give it a rest
One of the best things you can do to preserve and maintain the health of your feet is to ensure they spend at least as much time out of heels as they do in heels. Invest in some supportive flats or sneakers to wear around the house, and if you tend to wear heels during the workday, make some time to elevate your feet when you return home.
Transition from stilettos to stacked heels
Not all heels are created equally; in general, the thinner and higher the heel, the more strain placed on the rest of your foot. Moving from ultra-high heels to lower ones (or ensuring these high heels are counteracted by a built-up base) or ultra-thin heels to stacked ones can provide far more support to your feet.
By keeping these tips and tricks in mind, you'll be able to extend your high heel-wearing career while keeping your feet and joints in good shape.