Time to Take a Heel Break?

17 Jul Time to Take a Heel Break?

Top Five Reasons to Stop Wearing Heels

You love your heels. But do they love you back? At Shuman Podiatry & Sports Medicine, we see a lot of feet damaged by sky-high footwear. Studies have found that women experience many more foot problems than men do and that high heels are the reason.

Here are the top five reasons you should ditch the heels today.

1. You Risk Injury

Falls, trips, and twists are much more common among women who wear heels. According to the Journal of Foot and Ankle Injuries, roughly 10,000 women every year are admitted to the emergency room for injuries related to wearing heels.

High heels push the center of your body’s gravity forward, which throws your hips and spine out of proper alignment. To compensate for this loss of balance, your leg and back muscles have to work doubly hard to keep you moving forward. That leads to excess strain on your ligaments.

2. You’ll Wreck Your Feet

If you look at a list of common foot problems, you’ll see that wearing high heels are a chief cause of most of them. These include painful, foot-deforming conditions like:

3. You Could Develop Sciatica

If you think sciatica only affects older people, you could be in for a rude awakening. Sciatica is the popular term for the medical condition called foraminal stenosis, which is a type of nerve damage.

Symptoms of sciatica include numbness and burning sensations that affect your legs, spine, buttocks and lower body. In severe cases, sciatica makes it painful to sit, stand or walk. The pain can make normal movement impossible and in extreme cases, it can lead to loss of bladder control.

4. They Just Plain Hurt

If you do a search on how to wear high heels, every single article will focus on how to deal with the pain. What other footwear requires this kind of advice? A study by the American Medical Podiatry Association found that 71 percent of women who wore high heels said the shoes hurt their feet.

Shoe companies now sell foldable, portable shoes that you can slip into your purse and change into when your feet just can’t take the pain of heels anymore. Here’s a better idea. Wear the comfy “backup shoe” and skip the heels.

5. They’re Not Fashionable Anymore

The idea that you have to wear heels to look polished or professional is dated. These days, shoes that look like sneakers, chunky platforms, loafers and Oxford-styled shoes will make you look chic and modern. Check out fashion websites like en brogue, whose tagline is “Love fashion. Love shoes. Hate heels.”

High heels have been undergoing a backlash from both professional women and women in Hollywood, especially younger women who are the drivers of the fashion industry. As a recent Washington Post article noted, “Sales of high heels dropped 12 percent last year, while sales of women’s sneakers rose 37 percent.” Designers have responded by creating fashionable flats and sneakers. You don’t need to “go high” to go stylish.

How a Podiatrist Can Help

Whether you’ve decided to ditch the heels entirely or you’re looking for ways to minimize the damage they cause, a consultation with a podiatrist is the best place to start. A treatment plan might include:

  • Targeted exercises and stretching routines
  • Custom orthotics to reduce pressure on your feet
  • Assessment of your gait and posture
  • Treatment of bunions, hammertoe, and other foot deformities
  • Medication to reduce pain

Schedule an Appointment with Dr. Shuman

At Shuman Podiatry & Sports Medicine, we treat foot problems caused by high heels and every other type of shoe. If you’re concerned about the damage from heels, call us for an appointment that will give you peace of mind and a chance to heal.

If you’ve been wearing heels frequently for many years, you may need help adjusting to lower heights. Dr. Shuman can help with that. Call Shuman Podiatry & Sports Medicine and get ready to move comfortably into a heel-free future.


About: Dr. Shuman provides podiatry services in Sterling, Ashburn, Lansdowne and Leesburg Va.  Shuman Podiatry offers custom orthotics, diabetic foot care, heel pain and spurs, wart removal and more.  Contact Dr. Shuman today for all your foot care needs.

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