High Pain from High Heels


Maybe you know this scene well: slinking off the dance floor to remove your high heel shoes to rub your foot, apply yet another band-aid, or just feel some sort of relief from the shoe’s constant constriction? You’ll swear off those shoes for another month or so until next ladies’ night or a high-profile client meeting, when you’ll dig them out and wince as you’re picturing the end of the night. Does that sound familiar? It might be time to ditch the high heels!

High heel shoes might be affecting more than just a dance night. Podiatry professionals have been saying for years that women should ditch the heel for a more comfortable shoe. The following areas are the most often affected by habitually wearing high heels:

  • Your feet. High heels can put a great deal of pressure on the front of your feet, constricting your toes. This can lead to a variety of painful complications like bunions, hammertoes, blisters, calluses, and ingrown toenails. It can also accelerate the thinning of the cushioning in your footpads.
  • Your Achilles tendon. Heels continually compress the back of your heel, which can strain your Achilles tendon, the tendon that connects your calf muscles to the back of your feet.
  • Your nerves. Pressure from the shoes squeezing in on your feet can lead to common nerve problems like neuromas.
  • Your joints. The joints in your knees, ankles, pelvis, and even your spine can be damaged from repeatedly wearing high heels. Early onset arthritis from prolonged unnatural alignment or an altered gait are possible.

Here at Maple Springs Foot Center, we know that sometimes you just must wear your favorite pair of heels. We get it. If that is the case, please follow these tips to minimize the effects and to limit any pain:

  • Scale back the amount you wear the heels. Limit wearing them to just 3 hours and switch footwear during commutes or downtime.
  • Switch to lower heels or platform shoes if you’re just looking for a few extra inches.
  • Choose heels with wider toe boxes that don’t squish your toes.

What your feet wear can have long-lasting effects on your body. If you’re experiencing pain in your ankles or feet, it’s time to check in with your podiatrist. Dr. Stuart Snyder here at Maple Springs Foot Center can help assess any pain or issues you might have in your feet or ankles. To get in touch, request an appointment online or call our office conveniently located in Gaithersburg, MD at 301-762-3338.