Spring sunshine is here which means dusting off barbeques, and finding party shoes after a brief winter hiatus after Christmas. There’ll be plenty of standing around outside in the fresh air and your feet will feel the strain. It is important through any party season to look after our feet, and when you don’t have the luxury of slipping off your shoes to tread on carpet for a few hours, sensible advice on staying comfortable and healthy is more essential. Here are our tips on looking after your feet this spring.
How high heels affect our bodies
Our bodies react to uneven balance while wearing heels by bending the hips and spine, and tensing our calf, hip and back muscles. According to the College of Podiatry, 50% of women have suffered foot problems after wearing impractical shoes. Wearing heels frequently, particularly pairs which are two inches or higher that can cause your feet to slip forward, has been linked to injured leg muscles, osteoarthritis of the knee and lower back pain.
High heels can also contribute to the development of feet bunions - a bony deformity of the joint at the base of the big toe – however, poorly fitting shoes are a leading cause of bunions, alongside a family history, and arthritis.
Over time the tendon in your Achilles heel can shorten, as well as muscles in your calves and back. Switching to flat shoes or actively trying to stretch out these areas again can lead to pain, and plantar fasciitis: pain in the heel and/or bottom of the foot.
There are ways to alleviate current pains and avoid future symptoms without giving up your heels altogether. Here are our top tips on how to stay comfortable through the spring party season:
• We all have a reliable pair of heels that match any outfit, however, to reduce the negative effects of heels, wear a variety of footwear, preferably with heels limited to two inches or less
• Get into the habit of stretching your legs and feet before and after wearing heels to reduce the risk of injury, like you would for any exercise
• Invest in some insoles to slip inside your shoes to reduce the impact on your knees and stop your foot from slipping while moving
• Choose your events wisely: if you’re attending a sit down meal, choose flats to give your feet a break
• Start buying shoes that are the right size and are a comfortable fit with plenty of room for your toes. Get your feet professionally measured if you’re unsure on what shoes to choose.