Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Women's Health

Font Size

Tips to Avoid Foot Pain From High Heels

Experts discuss foot care techniques to cope with the painful consequences of wearing high heels.

High Heels and Foot Pain: What You Should Know continued...

While integrating lower heels into your wardrobe can help some, often the best solution is bunion surgery to straighten the bone.

If you're wearing high heels on a daily basis, it's likely you've already experienced two more common problems: corns and calluses. These thickened layers of dead skin usually occur on the toes or sides of the foot and are actually the body's way of defending your feet against assault. Only in this case, says Morin, your shoes are the enemy.

"When you start developing corns and callus, or even ingrown toe nails, pressure from shoes that don't quite fit is often the problem," says Morin.

Other times it can be the result of a "hammertoe" -- a condition that causes the bone of the affected toe to curl under, leaving the top to rub against the shoe. When that shoe is a high heel, says Morin, problems and pain are intensified. 

While wearing a lower heel shoe can help some, the solution may require a surgical procedure that helps straighten the hammertoe.

High Heels and Midlife Crisis

It's true that nothing can lift the spirits like a sassy new pair of high heels.   But if it seems those heels were a lot more comfortable in your 20s and 30s then they are in your 40s, 50s, and beyond, you're right.

Feet change with age, say experts, and some of those changes can make wearing high heels a lot less comfortable.  One of the most common: a loss of fat in the bottom of the foot.

"As you age, you lose some of the fatty deposits that normally protect the ball of the foot -- and some of it also slides forward towards the toes," says Morin.

When we slip our feet into those strappy stiletto sandals and step down, he says our weight is thrown on the spot where we have less protection.

"In extreme cases you actually have the bony ends of the foot grating down into the sole of the shoe with almost no protection at all," he says.

Not only does this cause pain, but it may also increase your risk of stress fractures and osteoarthritis in the feet.

And while some doctors attempt to repad the foot using injections of silicone or wrinkle filling injections like Restalyne, both Morin and Mogul say it's not a good idea.

"These injectables are not meant to withstand the pressure of body weight; they don't last and they tend to move around from the weight," says Morin.

Moreover, the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society warns women against these and other strictly cosmetic procedures for the feet. Calling the trend alarming, they warn consumers that risks -- including infection, nerve injury, and difficulty walking -- frequently outweigh benefits.

Today on WebMD

hands on abdomen
Test your knowledge.
womans hand on abdomen
Are you ready for baby?
 
birth control pills
Learn about your options.
insomnia
Is it menopause or something else?
 
Couple with troubles
Article
Bone density illustration
VIDEO
 
Young woman being vaccinated
Slideshow
woman holding hand to ear
Slideshow
 

Send yourself a link to download the app.

Loading ...

Please wait...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Blood pressure check
Slideshow
mother and daughter talking
Evaluator
 
intimate couple
Article
puppy eating
Slideshow