Dealing With Hellish High Heels: 4 Tips For The "Fasciitis Fashionista"

When it comes to high heels, the phrase "beauty is pain" is unfortunately quite real. Hammertoes, bunions, and calluses are just a few of the problems women can develop from wearing these shoes too often. The easiest solution would be to ditch the heels altogether; however, a survey conducted by the American Podiatric Medical Association found that 42% of women would rather wear the painful shoe as long as they liked the look of it.

If you are a part of that statistic and determined to grin and bear it, try to use these 4 tips to avoid issues that would require podiatric surgery!

Tip #1: Take it Down a Notch

As you can imagine, the higher the heel, the more pressure you'll feel on your toes and the more weight you'll have to support on the front your foot. If you like a particular style of shoe, but the heel is ridiculously high, you can reduce some of the pressure by shaving off part of the stiletto. However, you should avoid the DIY route since some heels support the shape of the shoe. If you take it into a shoe repair shop, they can tell if shaving the height down is possible; sometimes they can cut it down as much as an inch!

Tip #2: Increase that Surface Area

If you need to walk on grass, gravel, or basically any terrain that isn't as smooth as silk, you could roll your ankle. To remedy this, you might want to go online and invest in some plastic attachments to put on the ends of your heels. These attachments create more surface area, so you won't be as wobbly and so you can take some pressure off of your your heel. If you're worried about looking dorky, have no fear, many companies have created these attachments so that they're clear, virtually unnoticeable, and tastefully feminine.

Tip #3: Tape Those Toes

You've probably seen kinesiology tape used for injuries, but why not use a little tape for preventative measures? While the tape won't cure your high heel problems, it can reduce pain and prevent issues from worsening. If you have plantar fasciitis, your podiatrist may already recommend taping the bottom of your foot to support your arch. If you feel pressure on your toes, try taping your third and fourth toes together (start counting from your big toe). Since a nerve splits between those toes, taping them together will remove that feeling of a pinched nerve. If you suffer from bunions, you may want to tape the big toe to take pressure off the joint.

If you have open-toed shoes and don't want the tape to be seen, you can usually find some skin-toned tape at medical medical supply stores. And if you're really desperate, some clear tape in your desk drawer is actually better than nothing.

Tip #4: Stretch like an Athlete

Since walking in heels means you'll be in constant ballet relevé, it's no wonder you'll be feeling sore afterward. One of the biggest issues from wearing high heels is a shrinking Achilles tendon (the area that runs from down your calf to the back of your heel). So what can you do? Do as the athletes do: stretch it out. While you may not be doing a marathon, check out stretches geared toward runners—they'll really focus on the legs and feet. You can stretch out the calf and Achilles by placing your foot against a wall, and then leaning into the wall. Standing on a step and letting one heel drop at a time is another good way to quickly stretch. If you want a deeper stretch and increased flexibility, you may want to invest in a yoga strap.

If these tips aren't easing your foot woes, then it's probably time to visit the podiatrist, such as Jeffrey M Marks DPM. And if you're really gutsy, maybe you could relinquish the heels altogether and expand your fashion horizons!