Psst! Your feet told me they hate your shoes. And if you are not careful, they are going to start hating you too. Too often we women are too concerned with our image to be concerned with our feet. We don’t think of those little darlings, which carry us to and fro, until the day of our pedicure appointment, or an outing for a new pair of torture chambers arises. Or on the fateful day, in the case of women such as myself, the day the agony of the feet become too much to bear and a trip to the podiatrist becomes a dire need. For me, it was a callous on the ball of my left foot, developed due to a car accident years before and exacerbated by my need to wear platforms at least three inches high and by using my own home remedy to reduce the callous (cutting it with those barbaric foot razors sold in every beauty store worth its salt). I cut, ignored, and shod my 4-5’1/2 inch heels and daily walked at least 2 miles a day in them. I was a manager in a huge retail store and believe me, running from warehouse to floor, to customer service counter countless time a day, two miles was the bare minimum.
At the end of each day my feet and legs hurt all the way to my hip. I was riddled with shin splints, bunions, that damned callous, and a crazy electric sensation that rode from my knee and up my outer thigh. Still, I refused to cease and desist. That is until my run in with a podiatrist who informed me that if I wanted to be able to walk at all in ten years, I better trade in my pumps for a few pairs of modest no-higher-than-1½ -inchers and a couple pairs of New Balance sneakers. My days of being 5’6-5’8″ were over. In my new shoes I was barely 5’4″. The pain in my legs traded in for the pain of returning to being referred to as cute (short women are almost always considered ‘cute.’)
High heels are just not meant for the everyday all day. At three inches, a heel stops being your best friend and becomes the bane of your feet’s existence. A fall in three-inch heels is more likely to cause a twisted ankle or torn ligament than a fall in flats or even two-inch heels. Long-term wear of platform heels can cause pain throughout your body, can shorten your calf muscle, (what?! this was a shocker. I honestly thought it was muscle definition), resulting in an inability to wear flats or walk barefoot without tiptoeing.
So what do you do if you just love your heels?
Find your most comfortable height. So often we go for the highest and sexiest, first forgetting it may not even be appropriate for work and second, overlooking that we can barely bend our knees when we walk.
Wear your heels in moderation. No, that doesn’t mean trash your outfit by wearing sneakers during your commute. Find a cute pair of flat sandals you can slip on if you have to do extensive walking during those times. Slip your shoes off when you are sitting at your desk and get a foot massager to put under there and pamper your feet while you sit. You know those ones with the textured rolling pins? Perfect.
Always, always see your podiatrist at the first signs of pain. Bunions are not for your pedicurist to alleviate, they’re for your doctor to evaluate and treat.