New York has been a major center in the fashion world for decades, and fancy fashion loves high heels. Classy, ugly, tall, short, pointy, rounded, and completely wild—there are high heels of all kinds. You don’t just see them on fashion models, of course. Many women have at least one pair of pumps. However, the shoes come with a price—high heel pain. Do you know what these shoes do to your feet?
High heels come in a wide variety of styles and heights, from low, strappy sandals to sky-high stilettoes. Anyone who wears high heels regularly can tell you how much a pair can make your feet ache after a little while. The effects of these fashionable shoes can actually be fairly serious for your lower limbs.
Your feet are natural shock absorbers. They’re designed to distribute your body weight evenly and disperse the pressure from impacts against the ground. Pumps shift your weight forward and change your limbs’ biomechanics. All of that pressure is no longer distributed evenly—instead, it’s all directed into the ball of your foot and your toes. Over time, this causes many types of pain both in the lower and upper extremity.
You may develop metatarsalgia from the strain on your forefoot. The higher your heels, the more pronounced this tends to be. A raised heel tends to stiffen your Achilles tendons, which may actually shorten and chronically tighten your tendons over time, leading to pain. Stiff pump backs may contribute to heel blisters, Haglund’s deformity, or bursitis. Narrow, pointed toe boxes may cause toe blisters or problems like hammertoe or ingrown nails.
The fashion shoes also cause problems further up the legs. Your changed biomechanics can put pressure on your ankles and the inside of your knees, leading to discomfort and wear and tear in both knees. Your hips and back have to compensate with a changed stance that can strain your muscles and connective tissues over time.
Now, this doesn’t mean you can never wear a nice pair of pumps to work or to a fancy dinner. Wearing heels occasionally rather than as a rule is usually fine. Choosing low heels—two inches or less with a thick base—is best. Let Country Foot Care help you manage your high heel pain. You can make an appointment with us by calling (516) 741-FEET or by using our web request form.