Well-heeled: Tips for picking high heels that are better for your feet

Tips for picking high heels that are better for your feet

Few relationships in a woman’s life are as love-hate as the one she has with her high heels. We love them because they look great and make legs appear longer and leaner, helping petite women appear taller and tall women statuesque. The hate, however, comes when the pain begins.

High heels are the No. 1 culprit of foot pain for women, according to an American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) survey. Nearly half of all women wear heels, and 71 percent of heel-wearers say those shoes hurt their feet, APMA reports.

“With many types of heels, like very high stilettos, foot pain is hard to avoid,” says David M. Deiboldt, DPM, a podiatrist at The Beltsville Foot and Ankle Center and APMA member. “But it is possible for women to find a happy mid-point between great looks and great pain.”

APMA offers some basic guidelines for choosing better-for-you heels:

Finally, even if you’re like the average American woman and own nine pairs of high heels, don’t wear them every day. Daily heel-wearing can cause the Achilles tendon (the strong tendon at the back of your ankle) to shrink, increasing your risk of an injury while doing activities in flat shoes, including exercise.

“Treat heels like dessert,” Dr. Deiboldt says. “Don’t wear them all the time, just on special occasions.”

If you experience persistent foot pain, see a podiatrist. Feet shouldn’t hurt all the time, and if they do, it may indicate injury, irritation, or illness.

David Deiboldt DPM, is a podiatrist at The Beltsville Foot and Ankle Center in Beltsville, MD.

Call 301-937-5666 or visit beltsvillefootcare.com to make an appointment. Visit www.apma.org to learn more about foot health and care.

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