Woman taking off painful high heel shoe and comforting her feet

High-Heel Health: Protecting Your Feet in Heels

High heels make a fashionable statement and give you a boost of confidence while taking your outfits to new heights. No one can deny, they look good! But are they good for your foot health? Should we really be wearing them? “Healthy high heels” may seem like a misnomer, but the truth is, there are ways you can maintain your foot health, even as a high-heel lover. Let’s dive into the topic of healthy high heels and learn how you can simultaneously prioritize fashion trends and foot function. 

Top 3 Ways to Protect Your Feet in Heels

While high heels may cause issues by altering the natural position of the foot-ankle complex, there are ways you can implement them into your daily life to minimize these effects:

  • Choose healthy high heels
  • Minimize high heel strain
  • Perform strengthening exercises

Choose Healthy High Heels

Fashionable foot health sometimes means avoiding risky shoe choices. If the main goal of wearing heels is to establish a stylish height that pairs well with clothing, there are options you can choose that aren’t the typical ultra-high, pointed-toe stiletto. Heeled shoes that focus on health can come as boots, wedges, and platforms – even pumps! All of which usually offer more stability, arch support and cushioning, without sacrificing style

Minimize High Heel Strain

Minimizing high heel strain involves implementing some simple tips and remembering the importance of foot care in heels. Here are some to consider: 

Take breaks

If you choose to wear a stiletto or another heel with a low level of support and stability, make sure you bring a back-up pair of shoes to change into when you need a break. 

Opt for lower heels

Lower heels can prevent foot injuries by offering better stability and centre of gravity. Unsurprisingly, it is also easier to walk and maintain balance with a lower heel. 

Opt for thicker heels

Thicker heels provide more support and stability than stilettos. They’re also less likely to break than thin, hour-glass shaped heels. A broken heel poses a risk of tripping and falling. 

Wear insoles with your heels 

If your heels can accommodate them, wear Superfeet insoles for added comfort and support. 

Ensure a proper fit

Unbeknownst to you, your feet can often change in size as the years pass. Make sure you try your heels on and walk around the store to assess how you move in them. Ensure there is ample room for your toes to reduce your risk of bunions, ingrown toenails, and more. Attending a proper shoe fitting at a foot clinic can also guarantee a perfect fit. 

Perform Strengthening Exercises

There’s no denying that wearing heels can be risky. You increase your chances of developing bunions, hammertoes, and other conditions, and sudden falls and foot injuries are more likely. That said, strengthening exercises for heel wearers can add an extra layer of protection against these issues! Try some toe-targeted exercises to keep those bunions at bay, and ankles movements to help with stability and balance.

Toe Splays

  1. Sit or stand and spread your toes apart as far as you can.
  2. Hold for a few seconds, then bring them back together.
  3. Repeat for 10-15 repetitions.

Ankle Circles

  1. Lift one foot off the ground and rotate your ankle clockwise for 15 seconds.
  2. Reverse the direction and rotate counterclockwise for 15 seconds.
  3. Switch to the other foot and repeat.

Towel Scrunches 

  1. Place a towel or piece of fabric on the floor and stand on it with your bare feet.
  2. Scrunch the towel toward you using only your toes.
  3. Repeat for 10-15 repetitions.

For a list of more extensive exercises that target the rest of the foot, check out these resources:

Looking for Stylish AND Comfortable Heels?

Step into our one-stop-shop foot clinic and discover a fabulous variety of heeled boots, wedges, sandals, and more! What’s more, our healthy high heel options are crafted with your comfort in mind. Call us at (416) 769-3338book an appointment online, or walk in for a complimentary shoe fitting session!

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Carolina Charles

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If you’ve been to the clinic before, chances are you had the pleasure of meeting Carolina! Carolina’s daily goal is going above and beyond to make sure patients are always completely satisfied. Having worked in the podiatry industry for 22 years, Carolina brings a wealth of knowledge pertaining to client service, insurance policies, and procedures. She steers the ship to make sure everything runs smoothly on the daily. Carolina is known for spicing up every outfit with her signature costume jewellery.