Monday, June 8, 2009

High Heels - I Love You So Much and You Hurt Me So Bad!

{image courtesy}

High Heels are a beautiful thing. Strappy, thick, sexy, conservative, professional, night-out-on-the-town...whichever style you choose is fine by me. After all, I have over 100 pair in my closet. I have had a love of shoes since I pranced around in a pair of my mother's red leather pumps nearly 25 years ago. They are actually one of my favorite accessories to purchase because they always fit. They fit when nothing else does and they make a statement like nothing else ever will.

The bad news? They are ruining our feet, and various other parts of our body, with each step we take. I am sure you are thinking, "But I only buy comfortable heels." I don't believe you. We all own at least a few pair that leave people gawking while we end the night peeling them off and running a hot bath to soak our tootsies.

These shoes are the culprits for bunions, corns, hammertoes and ingrown toenails. I bet you just wiggled your toes and a specific pair of pumps flashed in front of you. According to an article in Glamour's July issue, podiatrists are now performing bunion surgery on women in their twenties, when that surgery was once reserved for ladies in their fifties and sixties.

Why do heels cause us so much pain? Every inch of heel adds 25 percent more pressure on your feet. Now do the math and if you weigh 130 pounds and slide your feet into stunning four-inch heels, you are putting 260 pounds of pressure of your feet with each step you take. Do that every day and you will feel the effects rather quickly.

How can you avoid calf tightness, a shortened ACL, and even ingrown toenails? Stop wearing high heels. However, I know that's not likely to happen so it's important to forgo wearing the stilettos all day. Do like the city slickers, and wear a pair of flats while your black patent leather pumps are tucked away in your purse. Arrive at the destination, switch the flats for heels before you step out of the car and no one will ever know the difference...except your feet of course.

The unfortunate truth is the higher the heel, the more significant the long-term effects. Aside from a few ingrown toenails or an annoying corn or two, we aren't faced with the bigger issues until it is too late. Wearing stilettos, or any type heel, will have an everlasting effect on your back and your overall posture. Throwing your body forward in a pair of heels, forces the back and hips to overcompensate for the bad alignment, in the end leaving you with lower back pain and tension in the shoulders.

Now, don't go home and cry over the 50 pair of Stuart Weitzman shoes you have to donate. As a shoe aficionado myself, I wouldn't dare suggest such a thing. Just invest in some good (even stylish) flats that you can wear when heels aren't necessary. Your legs may not look as long, or your ankles as slender, but both will thank you in the long run.

1 comment:

  1. I tell my sister this all the time! She is forming a bunion at 27!