Are you addicted to heels? Do you love the way your legs look when you wear them? Could you not live without them?
Ok, would you like to spend one quarter of your life in your glamorous heels and one half of it in agony with really ugly feet? That’s what you could potentially cause to happen if you rely on your high heels on a daily basis during your most active, on-your-feet years.
High heels displace the weight of your body onto the ball of your foot. Over time, feet can develop calluses, unsightly bunions and corns. With those kinds of feet, you’d better hope that Manolo Blahnik starts designing slippers!
High heels also direct the centre mass of your body forward and your spine has to bend backwards to compensate. “Oh my aching back” will be your daily mantra.
Calf muscles shorten and tighten when you wear high heels and if you wear them constantly for a long time, say more than six months, your calf muscles can remain permanently shortened. Your body will naturally try to compensate by lowering the arches of your feet or your knees, hips or back will be painfully affected.
How to enjoy your high heels but not do long-term damage
1. Wear shoes with heels no higher than 4cm for day-to-day wear.
2. Save your sexy high heels for special occasions.
3. Avoid wearing backless shoes too frequently as they make you claw your toes when you walk.
4. Stretch your calf muscles at regular intervals.
5. Alternate your shoes over a long day of standing. Keep a second pair at work so that you can switch heights during the day and give your calf muscles a chance to adapt.
6. Never walk long distances or over uneven ground such as pavements when wearing high heels.
7. High heels that feature a strap or lace across the instep are more beneficial than slip-ons as they help to stop your foot from sliding forwards.
8. See your podiatrist or chiropodist once a year for checkups on your foot health.