Heels are bad for you. A concept that most women understand but find it difficult to follow through with changes in their footwear choices. There is often a misconception that wearing low-heeled shoes is the same as wearing rocket-high stilettos – so why not just opt for the taller version that makes our legs look longer and confidence levels higher?
That is the wrong approach ladies!
As with many things, high heels come in all shapes and sizes. More importantly they come in various heel heights. If you are going to wear heels, then you should opt for ones that have a heel height of 5cm (2 inches) or lower. Any higher and you’re really contributing to amplifying the risks of foot problems.
On top of HOW HIGH your heel is – another crucial aspect to keep in mind is HOW LONG you’re wearing them for. You may be wearing 5cm heels but if you do so for prolonged periods of time e.g. over 4 hours for more than 3 days a week – you are still doing irreversible damage to your entire body.
According to the American Osteopathic Association, 1 in 10 women wear high heels at least 3 days a week, and a third of them have fallen wearing them.
On top of falling, there are many other negative and unpleasant effects wearing heels can have on your body. These include:
- Back pain
- Nerve damage
- Plantar fascitis
- Lower back problems
- In-grown toe nails
- Bad posture/balance
- Damage to leg tendons
- Osteoarthritis of the knee
- Sore toes, ankles and calves
TIPS TO HEALTHIER SOLES
Check the fit of the shoe to make sure it’s the right size for you and please don’t always go for those thin stilettos. Embrace lower heels that are 5cm or under or at least opt for shoes that have a wider base with room for your feet to breathe. Avoid shoes that forces your feet to squeeze tightly against each other or ones with lack of support as this can ruin the balance of your weight distribution.
MAKE THE SWITCH MORE OFTEN
Although lower heels are better than their taller counterparts, it’s still not the ideal footwear choice. Try saving heels for special occasions where there is minimal standing/walking and wear flats more often in your busy day-to-day life. If your job or situation requires you to wear heels often, try to find times during the day to slip them off to give your feet a break. Alternatively always bring a pair of flats in your bag for emergencies.
To all the high-heel lovers out there, invest in soft, insertable soles! They can help with stability in ensuring your foot doesn’t slide forward constantly when you’re walking. They can also provide more cushion support which can add comfort to your walking.