I Had A Long Day In High Heels And My Feet Hurt. What Should I Do?

High Heels And My Feet Hurt

Christmas parties. End of year celebrations. Business events. Family get-together. This festive season sees many calendars jam-packed with heel-appropriate events. Unfortunately, high heels can also be extremely detrimental to our posture – not just our feet, but our entire body.

While wearing heels was originally a sign of power or wealth in the early 15th century and helped secure a horse riders shoe in the stirrup, these days they are a go-to for events and certain careers.

To show you what we mean and how your heels are affecting you, we compared the pressure on the feet between a standard height brogue and an 8cm pump on our Zebris pressure analysis treadmill.

zebris analysis

You’ll see the pressure on the forefoot in the heels (right image) is massive. Specifically, when we look at your injury risk from pressure plates, anything under a value of 30 Newtons per square centimetre indicates a low injury risk. Without heels, all of the areas come in at under 30 – even the red high pressure areas.

In high heels, however, we see values of 99 and similar numbers at both the heel and at the ball of the foot. Just to be clear – these are very high and indicate a high likelihood of injury, especially as you continue to walk.

The impact on the rest of your body isn’t any better. In the images below, you’ll notice:

Rounding of the shoulder 

Disconnection of abdominal control 

Increased lordotic spine 

Knees in locked out full extension

impact of body position

The Achilles is also in a shortened position, and you can’t see it, but the chin is positioned forwards, putting strain on neck. While 5 or 10 minutes may not make much of a difference, wearing heels for hours or end or day after day can.

 When the damage has already been done…

If the aches have already begun, help ease the pain by:

Stretching your calves often throughout the day for the next 4-7 days (2 minutes each time per calf)

Ice massage the balls of your feet with a frozen water bottle for 5 minutes

Massage the soles of your feet (or get your partner to!) and stretch your toes out (20 minutes)

Roll the bottom of your feet on a tennis ball when you’re seated (5 minutes each day per foot)

For next time, look for shoe brands that offer hidden support such as Bared or Frankie4 – you can see what we mean here.

If you suspect you have an injury, or the pain doesn’t ease (or worsens), make an appointment with your podiatrist. Injuries can get worse if they’re not managed, so take care of your feet. Our podiatrists are qualified and experienced to help with foot and leg pain and problems, and you can book in online here or call us on 07 4638 3022.

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