If you’re like most of my female patients who wear high heels, you absolutely love them. No matter how much I might cajole, argue, and prod you to wear something more sensible you just aren’t going to listen to me.

I understand. I have a daughter who works at Nordstrom and even she doesn’t listen to me when it comes to tossing out her 3 inch heels for something more reasonable.

As your Seattle podiatrist, you've forced my hand. Here are some high heel hints I’m only giving out under duress.

The Height or Pitch

The higher the heel the more pressure your foot will apply to the ball of your foot and your toes. So if you buy heels keep this in mind, particularly if you already have problems with bunions or ingrown toenails. The higher the heel the more likely you will worsen these conditions.

Assess Your Feet

Take an honest appraisal of your feet. If you have wider feet or toes that don’t conform to a pointy shoe, look for a high heel that is not that pointy. If you do have a foot condition, high heels probably aren't worth it.

Buy and Try at Home

Those terrific-looking shoes may feel OK in the store but once you get outside and walk around for an hour you may find out that they aren’t so comfortable after all. Find out the store’s return policy. Some will let you return shoes if you wear them outside but many don’t.

Correct Size

Make sure the salesperson measures your feet. Although this is true for any shoe purchase having the correct size is even more important if you’re going to be walking around in high heels.

Don’t Buy Cheap

If you’re going to buy a heel, buy a quality shoe. There are lots of inexpensive high heels out there that will kill your feet. Try a well-established company like Munro if you’re going to go higher.

Cushion Your Shoes

Purchase yourself metatarsal pads for high heel wearers. These insoles relieve pressure under the forefoot by redistributing your weight in the shoe. According to Superfeet the makers of this insole, it can also help reduce blisters, fatigue, and pump bump--also known as Haglund’s deformity.  

All this being said I still suggest a heel no higher than one inch. In addition, going totally flat is not a good option for most people either, unless you have perfect feet. Stick to a slight heel from a great shoe company with room in the toebox and your feet will wear much better in the long run.

For more information about feet or if you are experiencing foot pain, call us at 206-368-7000 or request an appointment online.

Dr. Rion Berg
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A podiatrist in North Seattle treating families for over 40 years.
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