Most people are aware just how hard high heels can be on your feet. Despite increased risks for bunion pain, metatarsalgia, sore arches, plantar fasciitis, and Achilles tendinitis, heels remain a popular shoe of choice for many women. While wearing your favorite pumps and wedges every day almost guarantees pain and posture problems, you probably don’t have to give up the fashionable shoes entirely—if you wear them sparingly and take care of your feet properly! Certain foot exercises can help stretch out and strengthen your feet so they are better able to stand up to the wear and tear from heels.
Pillow balancing: Stand with one foot on a pillow or other soft cushion. With your arms in front of you, extend your opposite leg behind you so you’re standing on one foot. After a while, switch feet.
Negative calf raises: Stand on a step with your heels hanging off the edge. Allow your heels to sink gently toward the ground to stretch your calves. Then return to neutral and repeat.
Plantar fascia stretch: Sit with one foot crossed on your knee. Flex your foot, then gently pull your toes back toward your shins.
Foot massage: Roll a frozen tennis ball or water bottle under the sole of your foot, massaging the tissues there.
Make sure you mix up your shoe choices regularly, too. Rotate your heels out for flats, boots, and even sneakers every few days. When you do wear high heels, try to avoid super-slender or sky-high stilettos and narrow or pointed toe boxes. These factors all add to the stress on your feet.
If you notice your lower limbs aching more and more as you wear heels, don’t ignore the pain. Seek help before you develop complications that may require you to give up your favorite shoes. Contact Sierra Foot & Ankle in Gardnerville for an appointment or more information about good shoes and foot care. Use the website contact form or call (775) 783-8037 to reach us.