With summer comes the re-introduction of open-toed shoes, breathable fabric, flip flops, and the popular wedge; and shoe designers are becoming increasingly bold in height and look of their designs. Whether a wedge or a stiletto, the shoe may look great, but be mindful of how it’s impacting your legs and feet.
Heels Increase Pressure on Your Feet
With your foot in a downward position, there is significant increase in the pressure on the bottom (plantar) of the forefoot. As your shoe gets higher, so does the pressure. Wearing a 3 1/4 inch heel increases the pressure on the bottom of the forefoot by 76%. The increased pressure may lead to pain or foot deformities such as hammer toes, bunions, bunionettes (tailor’s bunions) and neuromas, as well as joint paint.
Heels Change the Structure and Position of Your Leg and Foot
The downward foot position also causes the foot to turn more to the outside. This change in foot position changes the line of pull of the achilles tendon and may cause a condition called Haglund’s deformity (pump bump). The foot’s position can also cause calf muscle tightening and strain. Wearing heels also puts you at a higher risk for ankle injuries such as a sprain, due to the body’s weight displacement.
Heels Impact the Skin and the Look of Your Feet
The narrow point often found in high heel shoes causes corns, calluses and blisters. Wearing shoes with narrow tips can change the shape your foot over time. For example, take a look at a baby or toddler’s foot. Their toes are spread apart. If you look at an adult’s foot, their toes are usually smashed together, which is a result of the footwear they’ve worn.
We understand that beauty is pain, and heels are just a staple in today’s fashion.
If you love wearing heels, don’t stop completely; however try limiting how often you wear them. If you are experiencing pain or think you may have some complications listed above, contact American Foot and Leg Specialists to have your feet checked and treated.