Going out for a romantic dinner on Valentine’s Day to celebrate with the one you love usually includes dressing up in your classiest evening wear and party shoes. That can be a problem. It’s hard to focus on your partner when your feet are aching and you just want to kick those pointed stilettos across the dance floor and put on a pair of cozy booties!
Many shoe styles contribute to foot pain. Narrow or pointed fronts pinch the toes together and move the toe joints out of position. Heels higher than a couple of inches force all your weight onto your forefoot as you walk or dance, with much the same result.
Party shoes often have both of these features, causing the tissues in the front of your foot to swell up or become inflamed. You can feel a tired, burning pain in the ball of your foot called metatarsalgia. You can develop a thickening or swelling of the nerves between your toes—a neuroma—that causes stabbing pain or a tingly, numb feeling. They can even contribute to bunions, which make your big toe joint bump outward.
We don’t want your feet to suffer in this way, so here are ways of preventing and treating forefoot pain:
- Choose lower heels – Limit them to a couple of inches or less.
- Choose roomier toes – Rounded fronts, open toes, and soft, expandable materials all help make room for your toes to lie straighter.
- If you must wear these styles, do so for the shortest time possible, and take them off frequently to stretch your toes out straight and wiggle them around.
- Use a warm foot soak to help soothe the pain and release tension in the foot. It’s Valentine’s Day, so maybe your partner will show a little love by giving you a relaxing foot massage. If not, you can always massage them yourself.
- Make sure you regularly stretch out your calf muscles. They can become tighter and shorter when you often wear high heels or sit for long periods of time. Keeping them limber reduces stress on foot tissues and helps bones lie as they should.