Wear High Heels, But Do It Wisely and Safely

High heels aren’t going away anytime soon. Women all over the world love them for their ability to give an outfit a bit of je-ne-sais-quoi, which is French for that special little something we can’t always name. Maybe we should name it “sexiness,” or a relatively easy way to instantly insert some high fashion into your day.


We get it, ladies. High heels can be really fun. But Dr. Megan L. Oltmann and Dr. Craig B. Frey of Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland would be remiss if we didn’t warn our patients that the fun can turn to foot abuse pretty quickly. Think of that invention that Yves St. Laurent came up with earlier this year – high heels with roller wheels. As if balancing on a 4-inch peg weren’t precarious enough, this fashion house thought it wise to add wheels? Seems like that’s travelling from je-ne-sais-quoi directly to je-ne-sais-pourquoi!*


Sure, you can wear high heels. But skip the wheels and follow these three easy steps to wear heels wisely and safely:


  1. Don’t wear the same heels every day. Change up the height of your heel to give your foot a break by varying its position. Alternate your heels with flats or wedges.


  1. Be discerning about height. 5- and 6-inch heels are available, but they put your foot in a dangerous position with most of your weight on the ball of your foot. That’s a recipe for back pain and knee pain – never mind the foot problems that can develop, like bunions, ankle instability, an overstretched Achilles tendon, and nerve pain such as Morton’s neuroma. Better to limit heel height to 2-3 inches for better stability, balance, and foot position.
  2. Limit the amount of time you spend in heels to about 3 hours, max – maybe less if you’re doing a lot of walking or dancing. And when you take them off, give your calves a good stretching.


Use heels, but don’t abuse them. For more information about the effects of high heels or for recommendations about the best footwear for your feet and ankles, call the expert podiatrists of Solon, Ohio at (440) 903-1041 or contact us online.


* “I have no idea why!”