It’s no surprise that high heels cause pain and discomfort, but that doesn’t prevent people from wearing them for style, fashion, and special occasions. But how bad are they for our bodies? How do they affect your feet and ankles?

The following areas are most affected by wearing high heels:

  • Feet – Excessive pressure on the front part of your foot can lead to a variety of issues such as bunions, hammertoes, blisters, calluses and ingrown toenails. It can also cause thinning of natural cushioning in your footpad.
  • Achilles tendon – The back of your heel is continually compressed, which can cause inflammation, stiffness and strain on your Achilles tendon.
  • Nerves – Increased pressure can lead to nerve problems like neuromas.
  • Joints – Repeated wearing of high heels can cause permanent damage to your joints in your feet, ankles, knees, pelvis and spine and lead to arthritis from prolonged unnatural alignment.

Despite these damaging effects of high heels, many people will refuse to ditch this fashionable style of footwear. However, there are ways to minimize the effects and limit foot pain:

  • Limit the time you wear high heels to 3 hours or so – you can switch footwear throughout the day especially for commutes.
  • Wear lower heels – every inch counts! If you still want the height, platforms are another option.
  • Stretch your legs before and after wearing high heels to lengthen your calves and Achilles tendon.
  • Choose heels with wider toe boxes to prevent squeezing of toes.

What you put on your feet can have long lasting effects on not just your feet but on your entire body. If you experience foot pain or discomfort, it is important to consult with an experienced board-certified foot care specialist like Dr. Russell Samofal of Podiatry Center of New Jersey. Dr. Samofal has years of experience treating a variety of foot and ankle conditions such as heel pain, bunions, hammertoes, nerve problems, diabetic foot problems, pediatric foot problems, arthritis, sports injuries, and skin issues. For information or to schedule an appointment, please contact our Wayne, NJ office at (973) 925-4111 today!