Avoid Foot Pain While Wearing High Heels

Edited by Mian Sheilette Ong, Anonymous, Lynn, Christine Carol Ansing and 5 others

There is no doubt that wearing high heels can make you look and feel sexy, elegant and sophisticated. They make your legs appear longer, enhance your figure and walk with a more attractive, feminine gait, according to researchers at the University of Portsmouth. While it's true that movies and television make it look like wearing heels is easy and glamorous, most women know that's not always the case. High heels can cause serious foot pain and conditions such as corns, calluses and bunions that can lead to disfigurement. Despite these issues, devoted women still continue to wear them. There are several ways to wear high heels and avoid foot pain, discomfort and chronic foot issues later in life.

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Common Foot Conditions Linked to Wearing High Heels

Wearing high heels causes pain and discomfort because they redistribute your body weight onto the front parts of your feet, while restricting them at the same time. You're also more likely to experience nerve pain, blisters, hammertoes and bunions than people who wear flat, supportive shoes, as noted by WebMD. Generally, the higher the heel and smaller the toe area, the more problems are likely to occur. Some of these problems occur quickly, while others develop over the course of a lifetime of wearing heels. Below are a few of the most common foot conditions caused by wearing high heels.

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  1. 1
    Bunions.
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    Bunions are painful, bony protrusions from your big toe's base that can eventually cause the big toe to bend into an unnatural position. They form over the course of years due to abnormal pressure and exertion placed on the front of the foot. They're especially common if you wear high heels with pointy toes, or shoes that are too narrow for the front of your feet.
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  2. 2
    Haglund's deformity.
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    Haglund's deformity, also known as "pump bump", is a bony bump that occurs on the top of the heel, in the area of the Achilles tendon
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    This is usually due to friction between your heel and stiff shoe material. In severe cases, it can lead to a painful inflammatory condition known as bursitis.
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  3. 3
    Calluses and corns.
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    Calluses and corns are rough, hard and occasionally painful patches of skin that accumulate on areas exposed to more pressure and movement. They often occur on the balls of the feet.
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  4. 4
    Hammertoe.
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    Hammertoe occurs over time when your body weight is distributed toward the front of the feet. It's especially common when the feet are crowded into ill-fitting or pointy-toed heels. It causes the second to fifth toes to bend abnormally and remain in this stiff position, if left untreated.
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  5. 5
    Ingrown toenails.
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    Ingrown toenails are often a painful result of wearing tight or ill-fitting heels. They occur when the nail is pressed inward and begins to grow into the toe's flesh.
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  6. 6
    Blisters.
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    Blisters are fluid-filled pockets of skin that occur from repeated rubbing of the skin. They're often a common but painful result of wearing ill-fitting or stiff high heels. They usually occur on the backs of the heels, but can pop up anywhere exposed to pressure and movement.
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  7. 7
    Nerve damage.
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    Squeezing the toes into high heels every day can lead to various types of nerve damage in the feet. One well-known type, Morton's neuroma, is a thickening of the nerve between the third and fourth toes. It can cause pain, numbness, tingling and a feeling that something is stuck between the toes. In some cases, it can become permanent.
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  8. 8
    Shrinking Achilles tendon.
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    While this isn't technically a foot problem, it is caused by wearing high heels on a regular basis. The Achilles tendon shrinks in response to redistributed body weight, resulting in pain and difficulty walking when you do take off the heels.
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How to Avoid Foot Pain in High Heels

If you're determined to wear your beloved high heels, there are several things you can do prevent or get rid of foot pain. Read on for some valuable tips.

  1. 1
    Choose the best-fitting pair.
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    Don't buy a pair simply based on looks alone. Try on several pairs and choose comfortable ones that fit snugly but aren't too tight. They should also provide a bit of wiggle room for your toes. Don't buy heels that cause your foot to slide forward and leave a space in the back, since they can cause more pressure and pain.
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  2. 2
    Examine the slope of the heels.
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    Most shoes with four inches of heel height cause your feet to slide forward. Some platform or wedge-type heels provide a slope that is more gradual, which is easier on the arch of your feet. The pain in the balls of your feet is relieved with this type of high-heeled shoe.
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  3. 3
    Try silicone inserts.
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    Cushion your feet when you wear high heels. Silicone inserts can help relieve pain and provide shock absorption. Some are designed to span the entire foot, while others cushion the balls of the feet. These are especially important as we age, because fat loss occurs on the bottoms of the feet.
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  4. 4
    Choose thicker heels.
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    Thicker heels not only provide better balance, they also relieve pressure on your feet by evenly distributing your body weight throughout the foot.
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  5. 5
    Alternate heel heights.
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    Alternating between shorter and higher heels each day can help prevent problems with the Achilles tendon. It can also give your feet a break from any foot pain.
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  6. 6
    Choose open-toe high heels if you have calluses or corns.
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    This type of shoe limits pressure and discomfort caused by corns and calluses until you can treat them.
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  7. 7
    Try padding and cushions for bunions, blisters, corns and calluses.
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    There are several types of cushions, padding and treatments available at most stores. These can help relieve pain and even limit new occurrences of corns, blisters and calluses. Many are waterproof and self-adhesive, so they'll stay in place all day.
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  8. 8
    Wear athletic shoes when possible.
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    If you walk to work or have a shopping trip planned after a dressy event, bring a pair of flat, supportive dress shoes or athletic shoes to change into afterward
    .
    It's best to avoid wearing heels when you'll be standing or walking for long periods of time.
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  9. 9
    Stretch often.
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    Stretch your toes and calves after wearing heels each day. If possible, take off your shoes and stand on the edge of a step with the front part of your feet. Allow your heels to hang over the edge of the step, and feel the stretch in your heels and calves.
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Tips

  • Take the time to shop for comfortable high-heeled shoes. Never go for impulsive choices, especially if you have known foot problems.
  • Train your feet to wear shoes of different heel heights.
  • Perform foot stretches every day.
  • Pamper your feet every chance you get. Get foot massages and use a foot bath for relaxation and pain relief.
  • Prevent blisters by placing a bandage, a piece of tape, a swipe of blister balm to areas prone to blistering. Spray-on antiperspirant works as well, especially in hot weather.

Questions and Answers

Foot pain when walking... I need a solution?

If you want to use those shoes that make your foot hurt, cushion your feet like putting a flat cotton, band aid or put a metatarsal pad where you feel the pain. Just used a band aid or a cotton if that shoes is closed shoes so that people can't see the band aid or cotton. You can also train your foot to wear different high heel shoes and exercise your foot daily. So when buying or getting a new shoes, first is you must choose the shoes that you are comfortable with. If you have a foot problems don't go with that shoes that makes your foot hurt. Use those shoes that you are comfortable with, example of a comfortable shoes is those shoes with thicker heels like a wedge shoes.

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Feet protectors while wearing high heels? Is there such a thing and does it work?

You can buy those gel pads which you can put at the base of your fingers as well as the back of your heel. Whenever you wear high heels, the pressure is always at the sole area near the fingers and so you would want to put the protection there. These gel pads are easy to use because you just need to stick them on the base of your shoe insole and that should be it. Most people find comfort in wearing it because it makes you feel like you are stepping on pillows and sand.

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I get feet pain when wearing flat shoes and the tip of my toes hurt in heels?

I get feet pain when wearing flat shoes and the tip of my toes hurt in heels. What is the solution?

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I am not wearing heels at all still, I am facing a problem of bunions, what to do?

Regarding feet. My age is 27, always wearing flats

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My little finger hurts in heels?

After wearing heels, my little finger starts hurting a lot. This continues till days. This happens with medium to high heels (1 to 3 inches). They become red. When they stop hurting, after some days, a hard skin around the fingers.

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See more questions like this: My corn on my second to last toe hurts when wearing heels. What can I do?

Could my recent knee surgeries (yes plural) be the cause of my recent bunions? I'm very athletic and 44?

Is it possible to get bunions from knee surgery?

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Categories : Health & Wellness

Recent edits by: ali iqbal, Eng, Ellah

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