Are High Heels Hurting your Health?
Phil Vasyli Weighs in on Fall Trends
For many women, the idea of giving up high heels in favor of foot health is a positively painful predicament. Fortunately, high heels don’t always spell “pain” for their wearers, as long as one is mindful of their effects.
“In terms of what’s good for the health of your feet, the best indicator is whether or not you’re comfortable,” says Vasyli. “Women have different physiological reactions to high heels. Some feel pain and others do not. The important thing is to listen to your body—otherwise, you put yourself at risk for injury.”
Vasyli notes, however, that not all heels are created equally. Comfortable heels for women do exist. “Wedges and platforms are more stable than stilettos, given the increased surface area in contact with the ground,” he says.
“Boots often have broader heels and are wide in the forefoot, giving the foot ample contact with the ground and providing balance. Their construction often lends itself to more ankle and leg stability as well.”
Vasyli also addressses another common concern: the effects of shoes with pointed toes. “There isn’t necessarily an inherent risk to wearing these types of shoes,” he remarks. “As long as the width of the shoe accommodates the full width of the foot and doesn’t crush the toes, it shouldn’t cause damage.” He does note that women with existing bunions should avoid this style of shoe, given that it can exacerbate pain and discomfort.
As for what to do to recover after a long day or evening in a pair of heels, Vasyli recommends a few simple exercises. “The simplest thing a person can do is try to pick up a pencil or other object with the toes while sitting on the couch or at a desk,” he says. “Rotate the ankles left and right and flex the foot up and down. This helps the musculature and assists in circulation after walking and standing in an abnormal position.” Repeating these exercises for about five minutes can provide some relief from swelling and soreness.
To learn more about the Vionic Innovation Lab, visit https://www.vionicshoes.com/vionic-innovation-lab.