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
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
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
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
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.