I devised this clever shoe schedule to avoid the aches and pains from wearing heels. This is the shoe guide every woman needs to read. *soaks feet in Epsom salt*
Heels are the perfect accessory, any gal knows that! Heels create an appealing silhouette, ultra confidence, and a self-made catwalk that we strut every day. “It is important to pay attention to the amount of time we spend in high heels each day and throughout the week”, says Manhattan based Podiatrist, Dr. Casey Ann Pidich. Feet are made to be a foundation, similar to a house. Feet contact a surface with a specific gait (walking) cycle consisting of heel strike, mid-stance (foot level with ground) and toe off. However; our shoe bling changes the foundation and the higher the heel, the more stress we put on our foundation. “Heel heights over 3 inches are dangerous for our feet. Generally speaking, the higher the heel the higher the pressure that is added to the “balls” of our feet aka our metatarsal bones –the metatarsal bones are the long bones in our feet”, says Dr. Pidich.
What you need is a “Shoe-dule”, your personalized shoe schedule. You don’t need to say goodbye to your favorite heels, just use them in moderation. Choose a schedule of varying heel heights to give your feet a break. More shoes! Check out the shoedule I created just for you:
Flats (1 inch or less): Wear 3-4 times per week.
Pros: Stronger foundation for feet vs. higher heels. Comfortable, stylish and get you from one destination to the next without putting high pressure on your feet. For some spring bling, check out the Feather-P Gold flat by Steve Madden, the shoe retails for $69.95. If you are happy about the return of 90’s fashion Dr. Pidich says, “I’m loving block heel sandals – a 90’s throwback that looks and super cool and are also better for our feet –because they don’t add as much pressure to the balls of our feet in comparison to a stiletto”. Tory Burch, Sam Edelman, and Stuart Weitzman all have really cute ones out for spring!
Cons: Most don’t offer arch support, adding an insole will protect foot arch.
Kitten heels (1.5 to 2 inches) Wear 2-3 times per week.
Pros: Safest heel height with least amount of strain to the foot and posture. They build muscle in the
calves, stylish and work with many wardrobe selections. Check out the Dori Kitten heel by Sam Edelman which retails for $$120.
Cons: Long term use can create common foot and joint problems. Moderate use recommended.
High heels (2.5 to 4 inches) Wear 1-2 times per week.
Pros: They build muscle in the calves, make legs appear longer, and the body leaner. Check out these epic slingback strap sandals, Les Sandales Olbia, by Jacquemus, major fashion investment at $744, but so worth it!
Cons: Building muscle is good but not at the expense of foot health. Long term they are painful to wear and the health risks associated with high heel use include: foot pain, bunions, hammer toes, corns, callouses, heel pain, contraction of calf muscles and shortening of Achilles tendon, muscle fatigue, low back pain, knee pain and hip pain. “Extended wear of high heels can cause things like bunions, hammertoes, a decrease in the fat pads on the bottom of the feet and neuromas –pinched nerves”, says Dr. Pidich.
Extreme (over 4 inches) Wear 1 time per week.
Pros: They build muscle in the calves, make legs appear longer and the body leaner. Opt for a pop of color this spring, and head to ASOS and have a look at Public Desire Aries bright yellow tie up pumps for $42.
Cons: The higher the heel, the higher the damage. Dr. Pidich cautions us, “back pain and knee pain can be attributed to extended heel wear. I personally wear high heels because frankly, I love all shoes, BUT I reserve them for special occasions like weddings, cocktail parties, baby showers etc. Limiting your wear of heels over 2 inches will significantly decrease pain in your feet and body. If you want to wear heels more – say to work – limit the height to 2 inches or under and remember to stretch your calves so your achilles tendons doesn’t feel the effects of the heels”.
Making your own personalized “Shoe-dule” has a positive impact on your foot health because you are varying the heel height. Prevention is key to taking charge of your health and keeping your feet happy. As iconic shoe designer Jimmy Choo once said: “The right shoe can make everything different”. – Jimmy Choo
About The Author
Dr. Rubina Tahir, co-founder of The Positivity Charge
Dr. Rubina Tahir is a board certified Chiropractor and is a self proclaimed expert in positive vibes. She prefers 2 cups of coffee a day, loves to run 5K’s, is a proud mom, wife and advocate for self-care practices.