Before you purchase your next pair of high heels, you may want to take a moment and read this piece.
So, I visited a Podiatrist early this year, and our initial interaction was interesting. Haha. 🙂
I always have a pair of decent flats in my car, just as a back up. (I’m sure most ladies do too). As luck would have it, my back up pair seemed to have gone astray. So the day that I’m meant to meet a foot doctor, is the day I don’t have my flats in the car. Just great!
After we had exchanged brief pleasantries, he looked at me and said “Kim, there are many brave people in the world, and you are one of them”. He was not impressed with the fact that I wore heels to a consultation. I explained that I always carried a pair of flats, and the relief on his face was priceless.
SO, WHAT IS A PODIATRIST AND WHAT DO THEY DO?
A podiatrist is a doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM), also known as a podiatric physician or surgeon. Podiatrists diagnose and treat conditions of the foot, ankle, and related structures of the leg.
(Source: American Podiatric Medical Association)
TIPS FROM PODIATRISTS:
Below, Podiatrists weigh in on the high heel habits that could be hurting your health and how to make better choices when purchasing heels.
– Don’t wear heels for more than two hours at a time if you’re standing or walking in them.
– When shopping, aim for shoes with cushioning in front to support your toes; and always make sure there is a platform if the heel height exceeds 7 centimetres.
– Look for high heels with a large surface area at the heel. Pointy, thin heels such as stilettos make weightbearing loads more focal at the midpoint of the heel and can cause your feet to wobble around.
– Look for chunkier heels or wedges to redistribute forces throughout the heel and make your stance more stable.
– Aim for thicker heels (block heels) for most days and stilettos for special occasions or to match your LBD.
– Don’t Compromise with size. Don’t buy a smaller size because that’s the only size available in the store.
Furthermore, if you have a pair of heels in the cupboard that are 10 years old, they may not be the right size for you anymore. Your foot changes shape with age and pregnancy.
Podiatrists suggest that you have your feet measured when you are buying shoes and keep yourself updated on your foot length and width. A podiatrist can educate you on your exact foot type; flat, neutral, high-arched, wide or narrow.
Also, I have realised that the narrower the pointed heel, the more likely it is to pinch your toes. I have recently made the decision to buy one size up in this instance. My pinky toes can no longer take it.
– If your heels don’t have good internal cushioning, purchase off-the-shelf products such as silicon toe inserts or heel cushions (Usually available at Clicks and Dischem). Make sure you have enough room in the shoes to cater for these, or else you will cause problems elsewhere on your feet.
– The key with any shoe gear is moderation, and varying heel heights is helpful, too. Think of these strappy heels, complete with cushioned insoles and added arch support, as the more comfortable cousin to your classic stiletto.
– Remove your killer heels at intervals throughout the day and perform some stretches to help the ankle and foot muscles, tendons and ligaments return to their normal position and length.
My doctor further suggested that, if you’re not client-facing and will be behind a desk the entire day; it is probably best to wear comfy sneakers for most of the day; and switch back to heels only when really necessary.
Some companies have strict dress code policies which do not make provision for sneakers, particularly in corporate; making this option unsuitable to some.
In closing, I’d like to add that it’s not only about the heel. It’s important how you treat your feet post-wear, too. Focus on stiletto recovery after a day or night in heels. Even the healthiest heels are stressful to the foot at times. So, pamper your feet after a long day or night in heels.
Whether you’re prepared to suffer for beauty or not, these tips are eye-opening and worth thinking about.
Until next time, love and light; and happy shoe-shopping!