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 Midlife Crisis continued...
A much better idea for bottom-of-the-foot pain, says Morin, is the use of
heavily padded insoles. "They act as a buffer between your foot and the
ground, and that's all you really need."
And finally, if you've worn primarily high heels for most of your life, you
may experience shrinkage of the Achilles tendon, the area that runs from the
back of the heel to the calf. This can result in pain when wearing a low-heel
shoe or even the inability to walk barefoot.
The antidote here: Stretching exercises like runners do. In rare instances,
Mogul says you may need surgery to lengthen the Achilles tendon.
5 Tips to Protect Your Feet When Wearing High Heels
We know you love your high heels, so we won't even hint at the fact that
you'd be better off in sneakers. At the same time, what good is that
great pair of red patent-leather stilettos if all you can do is sit and
If you’re going to wear heels, WebMD combined advice from our two experts,
along with suggestions from the American Podiatric Association, to protect your
1. Get the best-fitting high heel
possible. While this may seem like a given, stop and think: How many
pairs of high heels cause your feet to slide to the front, leaving a gap
big enough for a small cell phone behind your heel? Mogul says high heels
that don't fit properly cause the front of the foot to fly forward, creating
more pressure -- and pain -- on toes. Look for narrow heels with a snug but not
tight fit to correct the problem.
2. Cushion, cushion, cushion. While a
full-shoe insert can help, if you have pain in the ball of the foot -- or
you'll be standing in your heels a long time -- invest in silicone metatarsal
pads. They look like flattened gummy bears, but they do a super job of shock
absorption, says Morin. "It's like replacing the fat padding you
3. Wear a thicker heel for stability.
"A thicker heel will give you better balance and may help relieve some
pressure by distributing the weight on your foot more evenly, says Morin.
Alternating heel heights can also help reduce problems with the Achilles
4. Pay attention to the "slope"
or "pitch" of the heel. While some 4-inch heels will give you a
straight drop down to the flatbed portion of the shoe, others will be a more
gradual slope. This may be easier on the arch, says Morin, and might help
relieve some pain in the ball of the foot.
5. Wear open-toe high heels to relieve
pressure on corns and calluses. See a podiatrist to have corns and calluses
professionally removed and correct the problem that’s causing them. But if
that's not possible, opt for open-toe shoes to take pressure off inflamed