“When Can I Wear My High Heels Again?”
While being in private practice for over ten years as a podiatrist, I have seen all types of shoes on all types of feet! One of the questions that comes up all the time is “when can I wear my heels again?” So I’ve been thinking about all the different shoe questions that my patients ask me, and I’m going to answer them here…one at a time! If you have a shoe question, please feel free to ask away.
So back to the same old question “when can I wear my heels again?” Ladies, as a shoe lover myself, I feel your pain. I know how many of you want to wear those beautiful pumps, stilettos, high heeled boots, and strappy sandals. I know because, as a foot doctor, I hear it all day long! But…I am sorry to say, it’s not a simple answer. It all depends. It depends on your foot problem, it depends on your shoe, and it depends on how long you wear the shoe. Let’s look at each one of these a little more closely.
Your foot problem: Why aren’t you wearing the heels in the first place? Are you in pain? Where is your foot pain? Is your pain in the ball of the foot, the arch, the heel, or the ankle? What is your diagnosis? What treatments have you already had? All of these questions have to be considered. Someone with metatarsalgia (pain in the ball area of the foot) will get a much different answer than someone with plantar fasciitis (pain in the heel). Patients with metatarsalgia will usually experience more pain if heels are worn, while some patients with plantar fasciitis feel some relief with a very small heel (very small, about 1-2 inches).
Your shoe: How high are your heels? How narrow is the toe box (the front of the shoe)? Are you wearing the right shoe size? It is amazing how many women squeeze into shoes that are too small! It’s silly really, ladies. Nobody cares what size shoe we wear except ourselves! Are your shoes open toe or closed toe? It may make a difference! Do you need orthotics, and can you wear them with your shoes? Yes, you can wear them with many women’s dress shoes, even heels, but you will probably need a special type of orthotics made specifically for your heels.
(Orthotics like these can be found at my online store: http://www.ourdoctorstore.com/colon/store/item.asp?ITEM_ID=184 )
How long do you wear the shoe: When it comes to high heels, it’s all about balance. Don’t try to wear 5 inch heels for an eight hour shift at work, especially if you work standing up! For a seated job, knock yourself out! If you work a long shift sitting down at a desk, you can handle the heels for a much longer time than someone who works on their feet!
As stated previously, it’s not a simple answer. It varies greatly. And it’s really case-by-case. But I hope that answers some of your shoe questions! 🙂
–Dr. Michele, The Shoe Expert