A healthy living blog from Marshfield Clinic Health System

Avoid wearing high heels – every day

woman wearing high heels.Time to ‘fess up, ladies. Are your shoes the high heels from hell, or are you wearing something your feet can tolerate?

Are my heels too high?

Definitions vary, but most foot experts view anything taller than 1.5 or 2 inches as high heels. And if your feet could talk, they may complain bitterly about being stuffed into shoes that force them into unnatural positions and pressures.

Anything that causes you to bear more weight on the front of the feet can directly contribute to foot problems,” said Dr. Lori Steiner, a Marshfield Clinic podiatrist. “An example would be damage to the nerves that provide sensory information to your toes. These nerves become crowded and inflamed when we bear too much weight on the ball of the foot, leading to issues with numbness and pain.

“I’ve seen a lot of women in their 50s and 60s who come in with bunions and hammer toes that require surgery,” she said.

The obvious solution is to not wear such extreme footwear.

“My biggest thing – and sometimes I’m guilty of not doing this – is to wear them in moderation,” Steiner said. “Don’t wear high heels every day. If you’re in a job that requires you to wear them, have a pair of more comfortable shoes you can slip into to walk across the parking lot or other long distances.

Slip out of the high heels whenever you can.

“People don’t realize how early your feet can hurt and that foot pain can keep you from enjoying the life you want to live,” she said. “I encourage people to make the best decisions they can for their long-term foot health.”

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