Tips for Wearing Heels
It’s amazing that we willingly wear shoes that can hurt so much. Many times it takes an hour-long ice bath to recover from wearing heels. And yet, we just can’t seem to ditch wearing heels completely. Why? They elongate our legs, they make our calves look like we went to the gym that day (even when we didn’t), and there’s just that “it factor” feeling when we can complete an outfit with the perfect pair of pumps.
It’s all fun for the sake of fashion until we feel the consequences. Wearing high heels can distort your posture by causing an increased back arch while simultaneously pushing your pelvis forward. In return, your calf muscles tighten and shorten, ultimately causing your body to over compensate for these changes . According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, wearing heels three inches or above regularly can contribute to knee, hip, and back pain and can even accelerate arthritis. Yikes!
Even with all of this knowledge, some of us just can’t ditch the heels completely. If that’s you, here are a few tips for wearing heels to alleviate some of your pain:
Get Gel Insoles Gel insoles will be your best friend and can solve a lot of heel-wearing problems. They can prevent toes from scrunching, prevent blisters and keep the pressure off of the balls of your feet. While they will stay put where you want them, they are also easily removable for an on-the-go heel swap.
Give Those Heels Some Wiggle Room Try breaking in your new pair with a ‘high heels shoe stretcher’. They are very inexpensive, and will give you that extra breathing room your feet need. Stretching out your heels can lessen or even eliminate some of your pain!
Buy Your Heels at Night It’s a seemingly unimportant tip, but doing your shoe shopping at night will give you the best guage of what custom size and fit you really need. Our feet are the most swollen at night, therefore we can more easily detect foot and ankle pain. Buying your heels at night will help you target which shoes just won’t work in the long run! (Bonus Tip: Ditch the online shopping when purchasing your heels!)
Look for a Thicker Heel Buying shoes with a thicker heel will give you stability, helping to relieve some pressure by distributing the weight on your foot more evenly. This will also help with your balance.
Stretch Your Feet Before & After When you wear high heels your calf muscles are shortened and stiffened in that position for hours. So, before and after you wear them we recommend taking a few minutes to complete this exercise:Stand one leg on a step or platform, take half of your foot and hang it off the edge of the elevated flooring. Let your heel sink down to the ground until you feel the stretch from your calf to your lower knee (you are basically doing the opposite position of wearing heels).
Soak, Soak, Soak Of course we have never met a woman who doesn’t enjoy some form of soaking. So, if you wore those high heels all day, reward yourself with an easy DIY foot soak at night. Fill a basin with warm water, 1 cup of Epsom salt and a few drops of your favorite essential oils (we recommend peppermint and lavender). Soak for 10 minutes and allow your feet to renew, relax and restore.
High heels should make you look killer without killing your feet. Take these tips into consideration when wearing and buying your next pair of heels.
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