Feteing in Heels … Challenges and Tips

The Carnival season is here, so that means your itinerary is set for your favourite fetes. This equates numerous hours wining and jumping Where heels hurtin varied height heels. This certainly leads to sore feet the following day, if not on the walk back to the car after the event. Those all-inclusive fetes are all about making a fashion statement, and all women know wearing heels provides the right balance in completing the look.

Selecting the most comfortable, yet stylish party shoes in your closet can be a challenge for any woman this season. Most fashion footwear are not always the most supportive or comfortable. The problem is, trying to fit your feet in those shoes. There is no such thing as a perfectly shaped foot, because they come in different sizes, shapes, often times with a bony prominence in the wrong place. Perfect is always in the eyes of the shoe wearer; so if your shoes fit without causing any problems, dance the night away…

Potential Problems

The chances of developing bony prominences, burning and mysterious joint pain in your feet, can occur any time. This is usually initiated by poor foot biomechanics, and aggravated by shoe wear. Wearing tightly fitting footwear with varying heel heights of 4 to 6 inches for any period of time, is a major trigger which can cause these problems. The most common areas on the foot to develop these types of problems are on the tops, tips, sides of your toes, ball of the foot, and the great toe joint. The official names that describe these foot problems are blisters, corns, calluses, bunions and hammer toes. Arch fatigue, tired legs, and low back soreness can be by-products of wearing too high heels.

Tips for the Party

Gel insoles can helpGet some insoles; these provide shock absorbency hence taking some of the pressure off of the feet. The generic insoles sold atdrugstores will do, just be sure to replace them every few wears, since they don’t hold up long-term. Besides the shock absorbency, it distributes your weight across the ball of your feet rather than in a toe or two. A good rule of thumb when shopping for shoes is, if they’re too tight to accommodate something like a gel insert, then they’re probably too small for your feet anyway.Keeping your soles dry. It  helps prevent the growth of fungus and bacteria, while also reducing your risk of calluses and blisters, that can develop when your skin rubs against the shoe.

 The less frequently you wear heels, and the higher they are, the more painful. Your calf muscle contracts when lifting the leg to walk, but in high-heels, your ankle is a few inches off the ground before taking a step, so the calf has to work much harder, contracting tighter. If your muscle isn’t used to it, like going to the gym for a workout, it will stiffen up the next day.

After the Party

 Foot Soaks and Stretches

 Fill your tub with warm water, sprinkle in some Epsom salt, and soak your feet for about 20 minutes. The magnesium in the salt Soaking the feetreduces inflammation and cramping. High heels put your calf muscle and Achilles tendon in an abnormally shortened position, which can create tightness and pain. Facing a wall, place one foot in front of the other with both feet flat on the floor. Bend your front knee and keep your back knee straight. Hold for 90 seconds. Switch legs. Repeat three times throughout the day to continue relieving the pressure.

Ice to reduce swellingWhile recovering on the couch, place a few pillows underneath your feet. It helps your venous system return blood from your lower body back to your heart and bring down some swelling. If your feet are noticeably inflamed (red and throbbing), ice can constrict the blood vessels and bring down some swelling. An NSAID like ibuprofen can also help with inflammation.


Pamper your feet

Having a pedicure can be a welcome relief. It will soothe tired, achy feet, and sort out improperly cut or ingrown toenails, which can be painful inside tight shoes.  But you can also pamper your feet yourself. Cut toenails carefully and moisturise. If allowed to become too dry, your feet can develop rough areas on pressure points, which can crack and become painful.  The most common areas for dryness are the balls of the feet, as they take the most impact in high-heels, and the back of the heels.  Use a moisturiser, which is dedicated to feet, as the sole is thicker than other parts of the body. Apply after a bath, when your pores are open, for maximum penetration. Massages are also an excellent option, they get that blood flowing properly, soothe the feet, thereby easing the achiness.

Got blisters?

Treat them with an antibacterial ointment (such as Neosporin), and cover them with a Band-Aid to prevent infection. Your feet are more susceptible to infection than a lot of other parts of your body, because they’re further away from your heart, and are often exposed to fungi and bacteria that thrive in the warm moist environment of your shoes. There are also blister plasters which are a fantastic invention.

Unable to walk or limping?

If you’re limping or unable to walk normally the next day (or any day after that), make an appointment with a podiatrist to get your feet checked out. You could have a more serious issue such as tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, or even a stress fracture.

Your feet mirror your general health . . . cherish them!


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