Fashion

TIPS TO HEALTHIER SOLES

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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.

heel-height-appropriate

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:

  • Bunions
  • 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

CHOOSE WISELY

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.

FIND SUPPORT

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.

-JL

FASHION BLOGGERS DITCHING THE HEEL

Fashion and trends have often acted as the driving force behind a woman’s wardrobe and shoe choice. Whilst heels have traditionally dominated the runway, on models and in magazines, as of late we are seeing a transitioning trend to more comfortable footwear choice such as low heels, brogues, slides, flats and sneakers. Trends come and go but for now, we are loving the change in scenery for our soles. Now we can look AND feel good. Soaring heights on heels and the consequential pain and suffering is so passé.

Behind this new trend is the ideology that non-heeled shoes are no longer seen as the “daggy” or “lazy” shoe of choice. Not sure how to inject more “fashion” into your flats? Take inspiration from the following fashion bloggers who are embracing the new trend of ditching their heels for shoes that don’t kill!

Caroline Blomst

Caroline Blomst (Caroline’s Blog)

Swedish blogger and street style photographer Caroline Blomst is always on point with her effortless looks. Here she’s opted for a gorgeous pair of Gianvito Rossi boots for a understated chic style. No heels needed!

Rumi Neely (Fashion Toast)

Rumi Neely (Fashion Toast)

Rumi Neely from Fashion Toast perfects the relaxed summer look with her pairing of a silk romper with Isabel Marant slides. A look we will be replicating in the warmer months ahead.

 

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Chiara Ferragni (The Blonde Salad)

Chiara Ferragni from The Blonde Salad wears flats from her own Chiara Ferragni Collection to add a pop of metallic shimmer to her colourful outfit. Difficult to pull off but great inspo regardless!

Aimee Song (Song of Style)

Aimee Song (Song of Style)

Aimee Song from Song of Style leads the way in Paris with her comfy and easy-to-wear Everlane loafers – the ultimate travel shoe of choice.

Leandra Medine (Man Repeller)

Leandra Medine (Man Repeller)

Leandra Medine from Man Repeller shows us how to take the sneakers out of the gym and straight into fashion week with style.

Are you feeling inspired yet?

-JL

THE WORST HEELS FOR YOUR FEET

Paris Fashionweek ss2014 day 5, outside Chloé, Net-a-Porter Team

Most women are guilty of owning a handful of heels in their shoe closets – more often than not, half of that heel collection is uncomfortable and painful to walk in after a few hours.

There are various types of high heels on the market – whether you’re a skyscraper stiletto devotee or the pointy-toed pumps fan, are you aware of the harm these shoes are doing to your feet? However as with most cases, certain shoes are doing more harm to your feet than others. According to The Huffington Post and FeelingFit.com, the following are some of the worst offenders.

STILETTOS

Stilettos are probably the worst offenders out of the pack. Us women always have a love hate relationships with these heels – whilst they make us look ultra glam, they also kill our feet with stabbing pain. Super high stilettos causes us to move our weight to the balls of our feet. The increase in pressure can contribute to balance issues as it forces our knees and hips forward. This in turn can also hurt our back and legs. Wearing stilettos can make you prone to ankle sprains, fractures, bunions and hammertoes.

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POINTY-TOED PUMPS

Honestly it baffles me as to why women are willing to stuff their toes into such a confined space – all for the sake of fashion and vanity? Whilst these heels can be a beauty, they can also bring a lot of damage to your feet. Neuroma, which is an inflammation of the nerves between the toes is one such condition that can result from wearing pointy-toed pumps. When the nerve becomes inflamed, it can cause pain and a burning sensation for the wearer – you would then need to seek professional help to treat the condition. Ladies if you really are adamant about this option, at least consider switching to one that has a wider toe box. The last thing your feet needs is to be squeezed in an unnatural and totally uncomfortable shape/position.

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HIGH-HEELED BOOTS

Again – high heeled booties may be a gorgeous shoe accessory in the winter months however they can also present similar issues and concerns to stilettos such as hammertoes and bunions. The general rule of thumb is that 25% of your body weight gets increased for every inch you go in heel height. If you are deadset on wearing these, at least opt for a low-heeled option (preferably two inches or below) and look for quality material shoes so that you minimise risk for foot injuries and you add more stability to your walk and balance.

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PLATFORM WEDGES

Whilst wedges can carry great heel heights, they are generally regarded as a ‘woman’s best friend’ when it comes to heels. Why? Wedge heels have more cushion and provide more room for support and protection for the ball of your feet. As the heel platform is covered in its entirety, there is also a reduction in incline which can help with restoring balance. Nevertheless it is important to keep in mind that if you do choose a soaring high wedge heel, it can still result in accidental falls, ankle sprains, neuromas (benign nerve tumours), bunions and hammertoes.

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BACKLESS MULES

Backless shoes results in your toes gripping onto the shoe for support – hello hammertoes? On top of this, you’re more prone to developing nasties such as calluses or breaks in the skin as your shoe is constantly tapping the heel. Mules not looking so hot now are they?

Gianvito-Rossi-Leather-Mule
Which high-heeld shoe above is YOUR worst shoe offender?

-JL

CELEBS SPEAK OUT AGAINST HEELS

High heels have always been regarded as a key symbolism of womanhood and femininity – something that’s attributed to a female’s sense of style and grace. Whenever a special occasion pops up, be it for a wedding, a job interview or a party, we almost always feel inclined to wear a pair of heels. The positives of wearing high heels is that they often complete an outfit and make us feel like a million bucks. However most of us women also know that high heels can be our worst enemy. Not only are they painful to walk in, they can also cause long-lasting damage to our body, affecting our muscles, bones and posture…etc. The greater question remains…are heels worth it?

The Huffington Post reveals what several famous female celebrities think of heels…

“I hate high heels, more than anything.” — Cara Delevingne

“Literally, these [heels] slow you down.”– Kristen Stewart

“[Please let my daughter] not have to wear high heels.” — Tina Fey

“Satan’s shoes.” — Jennifer Lawrence

“When I’m wearing heels at events, my feet feel like they’re sitting in pools of blood.” — Elizabeth Olsen

Below, fashion it girls Miranda Kerr, Olivia Palermo, Alexa Chung, Cara Delevingne and Kendall Jenner showcases some serious style inspiration whilst ditching their heel for shoes that don’t kill.

Miranda Kerr

Miranda Kerr

Olivia Palermo

Olivia Palermo

Alexa Chung

Alexa Chung

Cara Delevingne

Cara Delevigne

Kendall Jenner

Kendall Jenner

Which look is your favourite?

-JL

SHOP SMART FOR HEELS THAT DON’T KILL

The task of convincing women to forgo heels completely is no easy feat and is probably an unrealistic objective. There’s no harm in wearing heels occasionally, provided that you choose options that minimises the discomfort and potential health risks.

Often women just seek for a little boost in their height (and confidence) when they’re shoe shopping for heels. Trying on a pair of high stilletos in store generates an instant feel-good moment but often doesn’t provide enough warning of the pain and suffering that could follow. The nightmare of blisters and foot pain generally starts AFTER your puchase.

It’s time to get smarter with your heel purchases! After all, you really don’t need to kill your soles just to look good. Keep the following things in mind the next time you’re heading off to a shoe shopping spree:

SIZE CHECK

Scenario: You walk into a store and there in the corner of your eyes, you see the shoe with your name plastered all over it. Your eyes light up with excitement as you walk towards it, ready to enfoce ownership. You eagerly ask the salesperson for a pair to try in your size. She returns empty-handed and that’s when you get that sinking feeling. Yes you have anticipated correctly – your size has sold out but ah…the salesperson indicates that the size below is still available. You squeeze your feet in and immediately you know that they’re a little too tight for your liking but because you love them so much, you decide to buy them anyway. After all, shoes stretch right?

WRONG. Never buy shoes (in particularly heels) that are too small for you. There is never a guarantee that they will stretch to accomodate your feet but one thing’s certain, they’re going to hurt! There should be a thumb’s width from the front of the inside of your shoe to the end of your longest toe. This tiny bit of thumb space is the ideal wiggle room for your foot so that it can move with ease inside the shoe, rather than forcing it to create friction against the sides.

CHOOSE WISELY

Scenario: You’ve read all the blog posts from Save Your Soles and despite acknowleding all the potential health risks of wearing high heels, you still insist on buying another pair of heels to add to your collection. Sigh…we tried!

No but seriously if you are thinking of sticking to heeled shoes, at least choose the ones that don’t result in a fast demise for your feet. The following options are generally better than your high single-soled stiletto killers and can help take some pressure off your feet:

  • Platforms
  • Chunky Heels
  • Wedges
  • Kitten Heels

GOOD TIMING MATTERS

Scenario: It’s a glorious Saturday morning and you decide to go shopping for some new shoes. You happily try them all on and purchase a couple to take home. In fact you love one pair so much that you start to wear them straight away. Fast forward 5 hours of walking…your feet starts to swell up and the foot pain/discomfort kicks in. What just happened?

Your foot generally expands a bit throughout the day and this is especially the case in summer. As a result, you should try to shop for shoes towards the end of the day as buying you shoes in the morning when your feet’s at its slimmest can result in that “oh-so-tight” feeling at the end of the day. Sometimes that extra high size up can make a huge difference.

What are your shoe shopping tips? Feel free to share them in the comments below!

-JL

FASHION THAT DOESN’T KILL THE SOLE

Let’s face it, when it comes to taking care of our body, our feet tends to be low on our priority list.

The foot may seem like it’s quite a simple structure but it’s actually more complicated than you think. According to Dr Nina Byrnes, the foot contains 26 bones, 33 joints, 126 muscles and multiple nerves. Very rarely are we born with foot problems – most of the time, they are acquired as we age and wearing ill-fitting shoes can be one of the reasons.

Think about the last time you had to wear heels for a long time. Did you feel pain across the toes and/of in the heel and arch? Or did your entire foot just feel like it was about to collapse?

Heels or shoes in general with a narrow toe can push the toes together and this can damage the structure of your toes overtime. High heels in particular push a lot of weight and strain onto the ball of the feet, contributing to immense foot pain.

Many women perceive the thought of wearing flats as an unfashionable choice but this season, you couldn’t be more wrong. The latest runway trends from New York, London, Milan and Paris Fashion Week dictate the return of the birkenstock and pool slides. Fashion that’s comfortable and stylish? Ditch your heels today and save your soles – it’s really a no-brainer.

See below for an edit of our favourite flats and slides, in stores right now!

Witchery: Sam Gladiator ($129.95)

Witchery: Sam Gladiator ($129.95)

Seed ($69.95)

Seed ($69.95)

Country Road: Harriet Sandal ($79.95)

Country Road: Harriet Sandal ($79.95)

Sportsgirl: Lexy Tab Slide ($59.95)

Sportsgirl: Lexy Tab Slide ($59.95)

Saba: Winnie Slide ($199)

Saba: Winnie Slide ($199)

-JL

DITCHING THE HEEL AT MILAN FASHION WEEK

High heels have long been attributed as the ‘fashionable’ and ‘trendy’ shoe of choice but the latest runway looks hot from Milan Fashion Week proves that switching the heel can be just as chic. Haven’t you heard? “Going flat” and “being comfy” is the new way to go.

To all you fashionistas out there, this is the best excuse to pull out those flats and invest in more slides! For once, fashion doesn’t have to kill your soles. Look to the latest Spring 2015 Ready-to-Wear Collections from Bally, Missoni, Tods, Giorgio Armani and Sportmax for some style inspiration – images courtesy of Style.com

Bally Spring 2015 Ready-to-Wear Collection - www.style.com

Bally Spring 2015 Ready-to-Wear Collection – http://www.style.com

Missoni Spring 2015 Ready-to-Wear Collection - www.style.com

Missoni Spring 2015 Ready-to-Wear Collection – http://www.style.com

Tods Spring Ready-to-Wear Collection - www.style.com

Tods Spring Ready-to-Wear Collection – http://www.style.com

Giorgio Armani Spring 2015 Ready-to-Wear Collection – http://www.style.com

Sportmax Spring 2015 Ready-to-Wear Collection - www.style.com

Sportmax Spring Ready-to-Wear Collection – http://www.style.com

 

#SwitchTheHeel today and #SaveYourSoles – without sacrificing your style!

-JL