A pair of high-heeled shoes has been a woman's trusted friend for hundreds of years. Women usually wear heels to give height and style to their appearance. Even a pair of jeans and t-shirt can take on an entirely different look when paired with stilettos.
Women who wear high-heels every morning may be suffering from back and foot pain due to the pressure on the balls of their feet and consequently a strain on their lower backs. Even worse, the pressure on feet from prolonged high-heel use can actually destroy the structure of your feet. While for high-heel beginners, difficulty walking while on tip-toe can affect balance and lead to painful falls and leg sprains.
Today's woman needs to be on her feet for work, family and social life, making high-heeled shoes not particularly convenient. Yet they still come under the pressure of the media, models and celebrities living life in high-heeled splendor. Women need to know that they can still enjoy the heel-appeal through adopting certain precautions and undergoing some specialized treatments.
1. Finding the best-fitting shoe possible. Buy the right size, ensuring that there's a thumb's width between the longest toe and the front of the shoe, to give the toes room to move. For heels, this means one may need to go up a size to get a comfortable fit.
2. Tailoring the width: Sometimes the toe isn't the problem–it's the width. Many fashion shoes come in a standard medium width. But if you have wide feet, then medium-width shoes are probably going to cause discomfort and, in the long run, hurt your feet permanently. If the heels you buy are leather, head to a cobbler (yes, they still exist). Often a cobbler can actually stretch the shoes to widen the toe box, enhancing the comfort of the shoe.
3. Cushion, cushion, cushion: While a full-shoe insert can help, if you suffer from pain in the balls of your feet (for example when the heels are particularly high and thin) or maintain a lifestyle that requires you stand in heels for hours, then it is definitely time to invest in silicon pads, especially in where your shoes come with less-than-adequate cushioning.
4. Wearing thicker heels for stability. A thicker heel will give better balance and may help relieve some pressure by distributing the weight on the foot more evenly.
5. Opting for open-toe high heels. Open-toe shoes help relieve pressure on corns and calluses. According to the branch manger of shoe and bag chain Tata Tio at Rehab Mall, women can really make use of open toe shoes as they are fashionable this season.
6. Buying heels with cushioned soles. Most high quality high heels are blessed with cushioned soles. In fact, this style of shoe is highly advisable, as the cushioned sole levels the front of the shoe to almost the same height of the heels, making the shoe highly comfortable.
7. Sticking to round toes. According to Tata Tio’s branch manager, lucky for us round-toed shoes are back in style this season. A glance at other shoe stores around town will prove that pointy-toed shoes are on their way out of fashion, which is a plus–pointy toes can wrench your big toe inward, causing joint pain. Round-toed shoes allow your toes to lie flat and spread out naturally.
8. Alternating shoe height. Wearing heels for many days in a row can make your feet feel ravaged. To maintain some comfort, switch between heels and a flatter pair of shoes. Although heels elongate your legs when you're wearing a skirt, they are less important when you are wearing trousers, so give feet a rest on those days.
9. Seeing a podiatrist. Have corns and calluses professionally removed and dealt with by calling a podiatrist. A doctor can also advise you as to the problems causing corns and calluses–although his advice may be to stop wearing heels!
10. Keeping in shape: Last but not least, keeping proper posture, exercising and yoga may help avoid and get rid of back pain. An added benefit: Staying at a healthy weight will take some pressure off your back and feet.
Undergoing specialized foot treatments can also alleviate the negatives of wearing heels. According to the Natural Care Spa Brand Manager at al-Sagheer group, women can book a number of different foot curing treatments that use products made from natural ingredients.
– Spearmint Foot Pack: A deeply effective foot-care product, the spearmint foot pack uses white clay and peppermint to relieve stressed feet, resulting in a calming and cooling effect.
– Foot Bath Salts: This invigorating foot bath salt with its sea salt crystals and hibiscus extract stimulates circulation and has an enlivening effect on the legs and feet.
– Parafin Wax Treatment: Warm paraffin therapy has several benefits, among which is that it is considered to be one of the most effective methods of delivering heat to aching, stiff joints. It works by warming up cold feet, especially in winter. It opens pores and increases circulation in the skin while relaxing stiff muscles by reducing tension.