With the holiday season in full swing, there’s a lot to look forward to: special sugar cookies, brightly decorated trees, beautifully wrapped gifts, and cheer-filled events. The holidays are a great time to bust our your favorite sparkly dresses, and elegant coats. However, your cute, seasonal holiday high heels could put a damper on the festivities if they hurt your heels. Austin foot doctor, Jeffery LaMour, has made it his mission to help our patients enjoy the holidays without wrecking their feet. Our podiatry practice believes you don’t have to sacrifice your joyful holiday fashion for healthy, comfortable feet. In the following blog, we explain what to avoid in your seasonal shoes and our recommendations for better options.
The Science Behind Heel Pain
Every person’s feet are different, but there are a few key factors that could impact whether or not you suffer from heel pain after a night with your favorite stilettos. These include:
- Sizing. You may be tempted to take advantage of year-end shoe sales, but if you end up purchasing heels that are too large or too small, you’re only making the problem worse. It’s better to sacrifice a shoe deal than have your feet wobble or be constricted all night. Remember that different brands can vary in their sizes, and it’s important to measure your feet every few years to get an update on your actual size.
- Understanding your unique feet. Some have wider or narrower feet, while others suffer from calluses or bunions that could interfere with your heels. Style Caster’s Meghan Blalock writes: “a podiatrist would be the best way to know your foot type and what’s going on.” However, if you can’t come to our office right away, she recommends this technique: “Wet your foot and step onto a piece of construction paper. When you make an impression, it will show you how much your foot is flattening or how high of an arch you have. You can look at a person’s foot type and see why they are having pain.”
- Stability. Sometimes, the most fashionable shoes are barely there at all. Thin little stilettos may be attractive, but they provide little to no support for your feet, virtually guaranteeing heel pain. The less shoe material there is, the more pressure it puts on your unprotected feet. Blalock advises: “the thicker the heel, the better…avoid thin soles, opting instead for a platform…[and] try a shoe with more coverage up top.”
- Your heel-wearing activities. What you do after you strap on your stilettos also has a bearing on your heel pain. In an article for Shape, Illinois podiatrist, Megan Leahy, notes: “If you have a choice between standing on a rug or standing on a wood floor, go for the softer surface. Standing on a rug is like having a cushion in your shoe.” If you plan to be standing or walking most of the night, you’d do well to go with a more sensible shoe. In addition, Blalock urges: “take breaks. Kick your shoes off throughout the day and stretch your ankles and toes.”
Paying attention to these elements can help you prevent your holiday heel pain.
Our Pro-Podiatric Picks
Some people say: “beauty is pain.” Dr. LaMour and our team couldn’t disagree more! It’s hard to have a good time when your heels are hurting, and healthy feet are gorgeous. Fortunately, there are many foot-friendly fashions available today. A few of our selections include:
- Dr. Joan Oloff’s shoe brand. According to ABC News, Dr. Joan Oloff is “a California podiatrist and shoe designer who decided to rethink the structure of her shoes.” While regular heels concentrate your body weight and pressure on certain areas, Dr. Oloff explains: “In my heels, your weight is evenly distributed throughout the foot. So because your entire foot is sharing that load, you don’t fatigue, the muscles don’t fatigue.” Becky Worley at ABC describes Dr. Oloff’s pumps as “beautiful and comfy.”
- Worley also recommend shoes “from another podiatrist, Marion Parke…designed with intricate buckles and rich suede…exceedingly comfortable for the level of couture they provided.”
- For a less expensive option, Worley writes highly of “Corso Como 4-inch heels: more reasonably priced in the $100 range and very comfortable…[a] favorite among the corporate dress crowd.”
- In her TODAY article “Hip, hip, hooray for high heels that don’t hurt,” Charla Krupp names “BEST STILETTO. Kate Spade ‘Karolina,’ $250…[a] four-inch stiletto” that is “so comfy that one of our testers didn’t want to take them off, let alone give them back!” This shoe is also a multipurpose dress shoe dazzler, in “black patent leather” with “rounded toes.”
- Julie Lopez Shoes. Good News Network reports on this brand, designed for women with bunions, but “a comfortable, fashionable heel for all women!…Hand crafted in Italy…[these heels] are wider in the fore-foot but still look great.” They’re also complete with “tiny slits in the sides that offer a bit of expansion that [Lopez] called Flex Innovation Technology.”
Dr. LaMour can offer further recommendations at your next appointment.
In addition, we can custom-make orthotics to make your heels that much more optimal. These personalized podiatric inserts fill the gaps in your heels and support your feet to help prevent pain.
Your Foot Doctor is Here to Help
With our expert assistance, you don’t have to deal with a “heel hangover” after your holiday events. For more advice and podiatric care, contact our office today. We look forward to scheduling your next appointment.