We have all heard the warnings and have seen the pictures on the internet of horribly disfigured feet, due to wearing high heels. Are high heels really that bad for your feet?
Let’s take a look at how high heels affect your feet. A one inch heel places approximately 22% more pressure on the ball of the foot than that of a flat shoe. A two inch heel places 57% more pressure on the ball of the foot. At three inches high, an additional 76% pressure is loaded on the ball of the foot.
This increased pressure on your toes and unnatural position of the foot can cause pain related to bunions and hammertoes, and can lead to painful corns and callouses inflamed joints and stress fractures. The unnatural position of the foot and added weight placed on your toes causes your body to compensate by leaning backward, overarching your back. This unnatural posture can place strain on your back, hips, knees and ankles.
Statistics show that prolonged wear of high heels is a major factor leading to permanent foot health problems in women.
It’s surprising that we haven’t figured out a way to make this century-old fashion staple safer and more comfortable. However, fashion and science have never been a likely pair, until now. A new Los Angeles based start-up, Thesis Couture is bringing fashion and science together for the first time in history. The CEO and founder Dolly Singh, who is the former head of talent at Space X, has commissioned mechanical engineers, an orthopedic surgeon and a NASA astronaut to re-design the aerodynamics of the stiletto heel. The re-design focus is on the traditional metal plate and long pointy heel below it, as this is where the weight of the body is distributed. Imagine the weight of your body loaded into one small point at the end of your stiletto.
The re-design includes trading out traditional materials like the steel plate that makes up the sole and metal shank of the heel for modern-day polymers. The polymers will help to redistribute weight more evenly. The scientific team has also re-tooled the aerodynamics and ergonomics of the shoe.
The first shoes will be available for pre-order this month. Pricing rages from $350.00 to $1,200.00 for a pair of Thesis Couture shoes.
If you’re not ready to drop that kind of money on a new pair of pumps, here are a few tips to avoid major problems over time.
- Choose a sensible height when selecting your high heel shoes. If you plan to wear the shoe on a daily basis be sure the height is no more than an inch and a half. Choose a heel with a wider base to distribute the weight more evenly.
- Choose the right size and opt for a wider toe box as opposed to a narrow toe box.
- Wear your high heels on days when you plan little walking or standing.
- Wear comfortable supportive shoes for your commute and wear your heels only while at work.
- Stretch throughout the day. High heels can shorten your Achilles tendon which can lead to tendinitis.
Your feet shouldn’t hurt. If you have foot health concerns call for an appointment with one of our podiatrists at 816-943-1111.