We’re all familiar with the do’s and don’t of fashion, like never wear white after labor day, or shoes and bags must always match, but can our sense of style have a profound impact on our physical wellbeing? The answer simply is yes. Let’s face it, any lady that owns a pair of heels will tell you that while they love the style, the shape, and the loft, they can’t wait to kick them off the second they get home. Now I’m not suggesting that you should compromise on style or appearance, but it must be pointed out that our shoes have a direct impact on our feet and spine.
The feet are the only anatomical structures that make contact with the ground, therefore by design they are resilient enough to weight bear and act as shock absorbers, but they are also agile enough for balance and complex movement. But maintaining the harmony between support and movement requires that we give our feet the proper TLC. Now for some, wearing those pumps is a must do, and the blisters, bunions, corns, aches and pains is the price you pay to play. But actually, for those who wear them on a regular basis, there are other serious implications like plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the heel pad), ankle sprains, ligament laxity, hammer toes, Achilles tendonitis, neuromas, arch drop, arthritis of the knees and hips, and lower back pain.
So how high is too high? According to the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society, heels should be no higher than two and a quarter inches and no less than 3⁄4 inch in width. Even at these measurements, they should only be worn 2 or 3 hours each day. But heels aren’t the only cause of concern, flat shoes with no arch support such as flip flops will have an impact on gait and posture as we tend to shuffle in flip flops and roll the foot forward.
So here are some basic rules of thumb: Avoid the really high heels, but if you had to wear them try to limit the use to 2-3 hours per day.
– Walk in flats (with arch support), and change into heels once you’ve reached your destination.
– Avoid tight or pointed shoes allowing the toes to maintain a natural shape.
– Use inserts like Dr shcoll’s or podiatrist (custom) orthotics to gain extra arch support – Perform proper stretching of the feet and Achilles tendon to prevent plantar fasciitis.
If you suffer from any of the above symptoms, fortunately there are many options for you. Call us at Trinity Rehab 732 219-5700, we have 4 convenient locations and offer free consultation.