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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

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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

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

How High Heels Hurt Your Body

There are some things in life that we all know are very bad for us – smoking, drugs, excess consumption of alcohol…etc. Then there are those things that we know are not so good for us but because we undermine its impact, we are reluctant to change our behaviour – e.g. lack of sleep, not exercising regularly or eating too much junk food. High heels unfortunately also belong to the latter group. The harm of wearing high heels barely crosses our minds but the truth is, while a pair of 10cm high stilettos can give you a boost of confidence and make your outfits look better…do you realise the toll it’s taking on your body?

Reading about health consequences from wearing high heels isn’t going to be the most exciting thing and would hardly appeal to the women readers I’m aiming for. As a result, I wanted to share this infographic from The Spine Health Institute from Florida Hospial Medical Group, which gives a quick summary of how high heels can affect and hurt your body, including your spine, hips, ankles, feet and also your posture and gait.

For those of you who insist on continuing with heels – at least read the last section on some tips to keep in mind so that you can reduce the negative effects of wearing high heels! Seriously ladies, it’s time to #SwitchTheHeel and #SaveYourSoles!

how-high-heels-hurt-your-body

The Spine Health Institute

-JL

Why Do We Wear High Heels?

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High heels – whether you love them or loathe them, there’s no denying that women all around the world have some sort of fascination towards them. Even those who belong in the latter group may find themselves occasionally doning a pair of stilettos. Essentially we all know that high heels are bad for our feet and let’s not even get started about the discomfort. So the real question is WHY DO WE KEEP WEARING THEM?

Here are some of my thoughts and musings upon doing some research…

The ‘Feel Good’ Factor

Frank (2008) explains that in addition to making women taller, the structure of high heels help to exaggerate the female form, working to attract favourable attention.High heels can also accentuate a woman’s legs and create the appearance of a thinner body contour. These factors all contribute to making a woman feel more attractive, thus enhancing their confidence and self-esteem levels, which serves to explain why so many are reluctant to give up high heels.

Social Conventions On Femininity

Women are often compelled to adhere to normative dress codes in order to present themselves in a manner that’s considered socially acceptable. High-heeled shoes are deemed as a favourable footwear option for women, in particularly in the eyes of the opposite sex, as it adheres to the “social conventions and constraints of femininity” (Woodward 2007, p. 142) This perhaps explains why women often turn to heels for occasions like job interviews and dates.

Fashion and Pop Culture Trends

With A-list celebrities constantly donning the latest high-heeled shoes down the red carpet, coupled by designer fashion labels such as Jimmy Choo and popular TV shows like Sex and The City constantly glamourising high heels, more women are encouraged to wear high heels as they perceive the choice to be the most trendy and fashion-appropriate (Sanghani 2014).

Do you wear high heels? If so, do any of the above reasons resonate with you? Or perhaps you disagree? Feel free to leave a comment and let me know your thoughts!

-JL

Why You Should Ditch The Heel

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With New York Fashion Week kicking off this week, there’s no doubt that there will be no shortage of high heels strutting down the catwalk and on the streets of Manhattan. Heels have long been associated with high fashion, a trendy look and is often regarded as the must-have accessory for any woman who’s looking for a boost – both literally and psychologically.

Let’s face it. As women, we all love wearing heels yet we also hate them. Any woman who claims that heels are not painful have either a) not worn them long enough, b) are taking breaks every hour by switching to flats or c) lying out of denial and refusal to ditch said heels. The clever guys at BuzzFeed have decided to chart out a woman’s happiness levels when wearing heels and as always, they are completely on point:

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Jokes aside, wearing heels is not only an uncomfortable experience, it can also cause severe health implications that us women choose to either ignore or regard as insignificant. We often live in the “now” and forget about the “what ifs” and the long term.

This is where Save Your Soles comes in – a campaign that’s not going to advocate for a complete ban on heels but rather to convince women to make the switch to better footwear more often. There’s no denying that wearing heels can be fun but at the same time, one should be more aware of the not-so-glamourous side of things.

For example did you know that everytime you sqeeze your feet and thrust your toes forward into those gorgeous stilettos, that you could be increasing the risks of developing the following problems:

  • Plantar Fascitis
  • Archilles Tendonitis
  • Sprained and Swollen Ankles
  • Aching Feet
  • Blisters
  • Hammertoes
  • Corns and Calluses
  • Lower Back Pain
  • Knee Strain

As this is only the first blog post and I don’t want to scare you away, all the health risks are thus far summarised in dot point form. Keep watching this space for more information and tips to better foot health.

Ladies, you don’t need to kill your feet to look good. #SwitchTheHeel and #SaveYourSoles!

-JL