Let’s face it, other than the fashion side of things, there isn’t really much good about high heels. The elevated heels shorten up the calf and other posterior muscles and shifts the weight forward, and the often pointy toe box puts lots of undue pressure on our toes. I think most individuals who wear these types of shoes aren’t under the misconception that they are good for their feet. Here’s a small infographic that illustrates a few more issues that can arise from wearing high heels.
At SoleFit, our pedorthists wear two hats. With one hat, we are Certified Pedorthists who are trained to find and relay to our patients the best possible solutions to treat and prevent pain. Our other hat is that of realists who want to make sure we listen to our patient’s needs and work with their reality. As much as we don’t want to enable bad habits, we’d much rather have a solution that fits within our patient’s lifestyle than a system that is just never used. So to be clear, high heel dress shoes are terrible for our feet. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s look at ways that can help if they are being worn anyways.
To track changes in the angle of the big toe, line up your phone with your knee and take a picture. Try taking a picture each month to see if things are getting better or worse. If things are getting worse, try reducing amount of time in the pointy shoes and/or look into things like bunion splints or Correct Toes.
Metatarsal pads can be a great way of unloading pressure off the front of the foot. Placement of the pads is often quite counter intuitive as they need to be positioned behind the sore spot in order to unload the area. Best to have them placed and glued onto dress shoes by a professional as placement and metatarsal pad height can be finicky.
We do understand that it’s difficult to always wear the footwear that we’re supposed to be wearing. We feel that understanding what damage the inappropriate shoes are doing is very important so that we can take steps to undo some of the damage if problems arise.