High heels are a very important piece in every lady’s wardrobe. They add class, charisma, height and smart model-like steps to a lady’s poise. However, misusing or overusing high heels can cause a lot of physical pain and may even pose serious risks to one’s overall health over an extended period. This is not to say all ladies should abandon their heels and go barefooted or on flats, it’s a way to say “wear your heels right and be comfortable wearing it.” The dangers of not doing it right include foot aches, corns, blisters, muscle spasms, calluses, bunions and general body pain. It won’t be nice to look good and tall all day and then nurse you hurting feet all night.
Often times, especially on Sundays, you find ladies on high heels walking the street in slow awkward manners due to blisters or injuries obtained from their shoes. On the other hand, ladies who drive still experience this, but they are on the safer side of the boat because they walk less and can endure the inconvenience for the few minutes they are on their feet. So to avoid heartbreaking stories about losing a toe, spraining a foot or/and having dislocation due to high heels-gone-bad, get acquainted with these feet-saving tips on how best to rock high heels.
1. Pick The Right Shoe
When shopping for a pair of new shoes take time to pick the most comfortable, and your actual size. Avoid undersized shoes and even pointed (peep toes) shoes as they squeeze your toes together and can create bunions Morton’s Neuroma. Buy your shoes at the end of the day because your feet usually expands throughout the day, so a shoe you bought in the morning as a perfect size might become too tight in the evening. Every individual has one foot bigger than the other. In cases when you don’t have time to try both feet, do well to try at least the bigger feet, that way you are sure it will feet the other.
Heels that are too high are not too good, the ideal heel height is 2 – 3 inches which still gives you a bit of height with total comfort. Avoid kitten heels where the heel is very thin and the shoe is generally narrow; this puts great pressure on your knees and the ball of your feet. When sizing the shoes, wiggle your toes inside to check if they have enough room to breath if they do and you can walk around the shop without stumbling or needing aid, then it’s the right shoe.
2. Walk With Less Force
Walking in flats requires no special skills, but walking on heels needs caution. When walking in your heels, take mild steps so there is less pressure on your foot. Short steps are safer than long strides, as the later creates extra weight each time you take a step, and this can speed up the chances of aches and pains. Furthermore, no matter the crisis around you, never run on high heels, do well to take it off as fast as you can before zooming off.
3. Cushion up
A few high heels come with inner pads, but most others don’t even bother with it. If your favorite heels aren’t padded then you should get gel pads and cushions insert, they are available online and in good shoe shops. If you can’t find anyone around you, improvise using foam or cotton wool, anything to get rid of that ball sting.
4. Loosen Up Your Shoes
Whenever you get a new pair of shoes, do not be in a hurry to launch it out. Wear it first and walk around your room for a few minutes before stepping out. This will loosen the shoes and will reduce the risk of blisters and the pains that come from wearing new shoes. Doing this might also help detect if the shoe is comfortable enough for that particular outing.
5. Tape Your Feet
Most supermodels and celebrities that wear very high heels and do unspeakable things in it are not superheroes – they tape their shoes. When you wear your high heels, try to tape your 3rd and 4th toe together. This will allow the front of your feet to “fit” better in your shoes, as well as balance the front of your foot out for steadier walking. You can also tape it in any of the patterns as illustrated in the picture above.
6. Alternate Heel Heights
Alternating between shorter and higher heels each day can help prevent problems with the Achilles tendon. It can also give your feet a break from any foot pain. If you must wear heels every day, you can wear 3 inches today, 4 inches tomorrow and then 2 inches the next day. Never wear 6 inches every day.
7. Get Some Backup
When wearing heels on long road trips or to events that will take long, always carry flats: slippers, sneakers or sandals, in your handbag. The saying goes “she who rocks her heels and later changes to flats will live to rock them another day”. This will save you the embarrassment of limping when your heels go sore.
8. Limit Yourself
Heels are not an everyday wear, limit how often you use it and give your feet time to heal before hurting it again. Except you are ready to deal with future problems associated with high heels craze, these problems include correcting bunions, ingrown toenails, replace worn out toe-joints, knee or even back surgery.
9. Pamper Your Feet
Going to a spa once in a while for foot care treatment won’t hurt. You can even do it at home by using warm water, massage oil, foot scrub and essential oil. End your high heel wearing sessions every week with a warm foot bath. Soak and relax your feet in a bowl of warm water containing liquid bath wash, and essential oil. After 20 -30 minutes, scrub feet and massage gently with oil. This will go a long way to heal foot ache and keep it healthier and ready for the next time it encounters heels.
Finally, moisturize your feet before sleeping, use a good moisturizing cream to keep it moist. This will help to soften dryness, rough heels and dry line that comes out as a result of all the stiff movements caused by wearing heels. If you feel like taking it a step further after moisturizing, wear socks to sleep to really let your foot ‘soak’ in the moisture and recover from all that pain.