Women will suffer a lot for fashion and beauty. They’ll pull hair out at the root to get fuzz-free arms, legs, bikini lines, and faces. They’ll undergo microderm abrasions and chemical peels to get a flawless complexion. They’ll even get surgery to remove fat, tighten and tuck sagging skin, and keep themselves looking young forever (oh, if only). And of course, they’ll shellac themselves to a high shine with makeup, spray tans, and god-knows what else and spend beaucoup bucks on the latest fashions in order to look their best. Yes, ladies are willing to put up with plenty in order to achieve the feminine beauty ideal. And shoes are no exception. We might not participate in foot binding in this day and age, but that doesn’t mean that plenty of women don’t still torture themselves with vice-like heels in order to look their best. And injuries can be part of the package if you don’t exercise proper care. So here are just a few tips to help you prevent injuries when you wear high heels.
- Get shoes that fit. One of the biggest factors when it comes to steering clear of high-heeled injuries is finding shoes that fit like a glove. It’s well and good to know your size, but there are a number of elements beyond the length of your foot from toe to heel that determine the fit of a shoe. The style, heel height, materials, and manufacturer can all make a difference, and if the shoe doesn’t fit quite right, it’s bound to slip, rub, or squeeze in all the wrong places. This could lead not only to accidental trips and falls, but also conditions like callouses, bunions, hammertoes, arch pain, and tendonitis, just for example. In short, try shoes on before you buy to make sure they are comfortable and that they fit you perfectly.
- Know your limits. You wouldn’t be the first woman to buy a gorgeous pair of shoes knowing full well that you’re going to suffer immensely every time you wear them (but look good doing it). However, you should know that this is a great way to cause not only immediate pain, but lasting issues for the health of your feet. So you might want to skip the stilettos, no matter how gorgeous, in favor of slightly shorter heels, platforms, or wedges that are easier on your feet. And if you’re still having trouble walking comfortably, opt for fashionable kitten heels that will give you the style you want without making you waddle.
- Switch off. The best way to prevent injuries related to high heels is to avoid them altogether. But since that denies you the beautiful shoe options you crave, consider wearing them in moderation instead. By switching between heels and flats from day to day you can not only help to keep your feet in good shape, but you can also satisfy your need for myriad options in footwear.
- Add padding. If shoes are slipping or causing you pain, one good way to fit them perfectly to your foot is to add a little padding. With both foam and gel cushions in a variety of sizes and shapes at your disposal you can find just what you need to make your high heels more comfortable (just look for Dr. Scholl’s at your local pharmacy). There is even a selection to go with open shoe styles.
- Try different styles. The type of heel you opt for could make a difference between walking on cloud nine all day and getting referrals for pain management doctors. So try wedges, platforms, and varying heel heights to see what seems to work best for you.