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Fashions on the field: High heels & your feet

Updated: Jan 30

The Spring Racing carnival is upon us and for those ladies thinking shoes for the weekend - here are some good tips to save your feet this season.

Walking in high heels puts approximately two tonnes of force on the ball of the foot & heel with every step, instead of an even distribution across the foot. In addition, the compression force on the knee joints when wearing high heels increases by 23% over being in bare feet.

The health risks of high heels include:

  • Back problems from change in posture. High heels cause the pelvis to tilt forward and the back to arch to compensate for extra height.

  • Osteoarthritis (degeneration of the bone) in the ball of the foot.

  • Extensive strain on the knee joints. Damage to ankle joints from the instability of high heels.

  • Compression of discs in the spine & potential spinal damage, especially if there are already spinal problems.

  • Bunions, in-growing toenails, thickened nails and muscle fatigue caused through maintaining balance.

High heel tips:

If you just don’t feel ‘dressed’ without your heels, here are some tips to help you avoid foot & back problems:

  • Buy shoes later in the day or early evening as feet swell throughout the day. This will help you have a better fitting shoe & less foot pain.

  • There are a range of streamlined supports for the arches in your feet. These products are available from the clinic, plus paying one of our podiatrists a visit with your favourite party shoes is good also preparation.

  • Remember good posture is the key to wearing high heels well. Keep both feet firmly on the ground when you’re standing. Try to avoid leaning on one foot, so your shoes take your weight equally. Keep your tummy taut so your muscles keep your back supported and stand tall.

  • For the walk home, take a pair of ballet flats.

  • If you’re in pain, take your shoes off.

  • Best type of shoe: A shoe with a heel no more than 2cm-3cm in height & more like a wedge with a wide base is a great start. The upper part of the shoe needs to be enclosed through the heel and deep enough to accommodate your foot comfortably and with stability.

If you have any foot concerns/problems one of our podiatrists will be happy to help. Book & manage your appointment online or give us a call on 03 9372 8091.

For more about our Podiatrists visit our staff page here.

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