Are High Heel Shoes Bad for Your Feet?

Are High Heel Shoes Bad for Your Feet?

High heel shoes are popular among women these days because they feel that wearing them makes them look taller and feel sexier. It also makes them feel more empowered in some way.

But what does wearing high heel shoes do to your feet? Are these sexy stilettos doing any good to your walkers?

Yes, wearing high heel shoes may make you look taller and sexier, but there’s a price to pay for that. High heel shoes are mostly uncomfortable to wear. Even the best, the most luxurious and the most expensive pair of high heels will leave your feet in pain after just minutes of wearing and walking on them. Surprisingly, a lot of women are fully aware that wearing high heels shoes can cause pain and soreness to their feet, but sadly they wouldn’t trade fashion for their feet’s health. But fashion is pain, as the saying goes.

It’s fine if you wear high heels for special occasions. But if you wear them every day to work, it can lead to some serious problems to your feet and may leave them permanently damaged if you do not get them checked.

Some of these problems caused by wearing high heels include:

1. Soreness

2. Chronic pain

3. Swelling

4. Blistering

5. Hammer toes

6. Ingrown toenails

7. Bunions

8. Twisted ankles

9. Sprained ankles

10. Crooked feet

11. “Turf toe” or hyperextension of the toes, which can be permanent

12. Plantar fasciitis

… and other foot problems.

Additionally, wearing heels can cause your body weight to shift away from the heel to the balls of your foot. This leads to increased pressure and pain to this area – a condition which is also known as metatarsalgia. The weight and pressure also increase on your toes.

Plantar fasciitis caused by wearing high heel shoes

Plantar fasciitis is one of the common ailments of the feet that is much discussed here on this website. It is a condition that affects the plantar fascia, the fibrous tissue connecting the heel bone to the toes. Your plantar fascia acts as flexors to the arch of your foot. Plantar fasciitis is caused by several problems, which include wearing high heels frequently.

Since wearing high heel shoes lifts your heel up, the pressure goes down to your toes, forcing your plantar fascia to stretch itself. Just imagine yourself wearing high heels every single day? This will make your plantar fascia chronically stretched, causing it to become stiff, painful and weakened over time.

Other effects of wearing high heel shoes

Unfortunately, the problems caused by wearing high heels regularly can extend beyond the feet. If you’re on the habit of wearing high heels, you can see a lot of undesirable – and even dangerous – changes on your anatomy:

1. Back pain 

As wearing high heels increases undue pressure to your toes and the balls of your feet, it forces your body to lean forward. This means that your back has to compensate by over-arching, creating an unnatural posture which leads to back pain.

2. Hip and spine problems 

Wearing high heels forces your back to push forward, causing your hips and spine to become disaligned.

3. Knee pain

Wearing high heels also puts a lot of burden on your knees as they try to balance between your body weight and the ground as you walk. This results to pain and possibly premature aging and osteoarthritis on your knees.

4.  Problems on calf muscles and Achilles tendon

Yes, wearing high heels habitually may cause your calf muscles to become taut and shortened. Your Achilles tendon, which joins the calf muscles to the heel bone of your foot, may also become stiff and thickened.

How to undo the damage on your feet from wearing high heel shoes?

So, would you give up on your high heel shoes? Not entirely. Here are some some tips to help you deal with pain caused by wearing  high heels:

1. Just wear high heels on special occasions. Or if your profession requires you to wear them every day, bring a pair of comfortable footwear (such as sandals or flats) or go barefoot as soon as you sit on your desk or during breaks.

2.If you see any visible signs of blistering or open wounds on your feet, treat them immediately. Disinfect them before covering them with Band-Aid to avoid infection.

3. Do some light stretches to counteract the adverse effects of wearing high heel shoes and to give instant relief to your feet. Give your calves some good and nice stretching before and after wearing high heel shoes. Place anything round or cylindrical (such as a tennis ball or a soda can) on the floor, rest your sole on it, and roll it back and forth. If your sole is resting on round object, also do some circular rolling. This will also help deal with plantar fascia pain.

4. Go to a foot spa and have a foot bath and massage to help reduce the pain and tiredness on your feet. You can also use foot massage machines at home.

5. If you have bunions, you may consider applying topical treatments and/or taking oral medications to help reduce the pain and swelling. If these treatments do not work, surgery is likely the last option.

6. Should you now wear flats? Not so. If you quickly and suddenly switch from wearing high heels to wearing flats, it can even aggravate the pain to your plantar fascia. As they are called as such, flats lack a good arch support to your feet. It’s better if you start with low heel shoes first before gradually moving on to wearing flats. Or maybe even better – just maintain wearing low heels as they provide enough support to your arches.

Check out some products that will help you deal with pain and damage caused by wearing high heels too frequently:

Where to Buy
Hollywood Fashion Secrets Haute Heels
Heel Cushion Insoles
Compeed Blister Cushions
Foot Petals Women's Tip Toes Ball of Foot Cushion
FootGloss All-Natural Anti-Blister Balm

1. Hollywood Fashion Secrets Haute Heels

Spray away your usual high heel agonies with Hollywood Fashion Secrets Haute Heels! It helps in reducing pain caused by wearing high heels frequently. Made with organic and natural ingredients such as Arnica montana (wolf bane or mountain arnica) extract, aloe vera extract, and Ilex (holly) leaf extract, it dries fast and doesn’t leave an icky and greasy feeling. Use it at home, in the office or while traveling.

2. Heel Cushion Insoles

Wearing high heels is sure to be a lot of pain, so these specially designed Heel Cushion Insoles will protect your heels from friction that usually causes pain, calluses and blistering. If you are about to do long walks, these heel cushion insoles are the right ones for you. They are also ideal to insert into oversized footwear. These insoles are constructed from light but durable fabric and silicone which makes walking in heels less of a pain.

3. Compeed Blister Cushions

If you don’t want to wear cushioned insoles or find that your usual Band-Aid slides off or ruins your look, Compeed Blister Cushions can be a better alternative. It securely seals in your blisters, protecting them from friction and pressure as you go about in your high heels (or any other footwear) and healing them in the process. This little pads act like they’re your feet’s second skin that you won’t almost feel anything!

4. Foot Petals Women’s Tip Toes Ball of Foot Cushion

Wearing high heels causes the ball of your foot to take much of the brunt, which can lead to a host of foot ailments such as metatarsalgia. Foot Petals Women’s Tip Toes Ball of Foot Cushion will help in addressing ball pain by providing cushion, making walking on high heels feel like you’re walking on clouds!

5. FootGloss All-Natural Anti-Blister Balm

You can carry this balm anytime, anywhere, whether you’re at the office or you’re traveling. The packaging design of this balm makes it easy to apply – just open it and swipe it on affected areas of your feet. Unlike applying conventional balms, FootGloss All-Natural Anti-Blister Balm leaves no mess and no icky feeling on your feet and hands. And most importantly, this balm is meant to provide long-lasting relief all day long with just one swipe.