Many women willingly sacrifice their own comfort in the name of fashion. Thongs and stilettos are not as comfortable as sweats and sneakers, yet most women leave the house wearing the former. But how far are you willing to go to look stylish? Are you willing to suffer to look glamorous? If you wear high heels on a daily basis, you might be setting yourself up for a lifetime of pain.
A recent study in Framingham, Mass, sponsored by the Institute for Aging Research of Hebrew Senior Life, asked over 3,000 men and women about their shoe preferences; the average age of the respondents was 66. Researchers then asked the respondents if they experienced pain, aching, or stiffness in either foot. The results of the study might give Manolo Blahnik nightmares.
Sixty percent of women respondents reported wearing high heels, pumps, and sandals throughout their lives. They may have been fashionable, but this group also reported more foot pain than the group of women who wore sensible shoes. The sneaker-clad women who favored supportive shoes were i percent less likely to experience foot pain. The stiletto-clad women who mocked supportive shoes, meanwhile nursed injuries to their hind feet, ankles, and Achilles’ tendons. The conclusion – high heels cause pain. Fortunately, you can reduce your risk of injury without tossing your favorite red leather pumps.
First, make sure you buy shoes that fit. You might be able to squeeze into a size seven shoe, but if you can’t wiggle your toes, you will need to move up a size. If you are unsure of your foot size, have a sales associate measure your feet. The shoes you buy should also be well made. Those $20 pumps may be a bargain, but a lifetime of foot pain is not worth the money you’ll save.
So now that you own a well-made, well-fitting pair of shoes, you can run a marathon in your stilettos, right? Guess again – even a high heel shoe made of pillows and feathers cannot protect you against foot pain. Your feet need more support than a skinny-as-a-pencil heel can provide. So keep your high heels for seated events and special occasions Wear your stilettos to the theater and your flats to your high school reunion. Wear your sneakers on your walk to work, and change into your pumps at your desk.
Your feet are not built like Barbie’s. Your feet need support and comfort, not a cheap pair of plastic pink stilettos By treating them right, your feet will support you for years to come. But what of the men in the study? Less than 2 percent of male respondents reported foot pain, proving yet again that men really don’t know what it’s like to walk a mile in a woman’s shoes