There is such a stigma in the fashion industry that because a shoe is a “comfort” shoe, it must not be a very attractive shoe to look at, let alone wear. Women believe that buying comfortable heels and shoes is something reserved for old age, but it shouldn’t be! By buying heels that are constructed to give you the best in comfort and support, you could be saving yourself a lot of money and visits to doctors and podiatrists for damage to your feet and ankles.
Health concerns from wearing uncomfortable heels
Nothing is worse than buying the perfect pair of shoes only to take them off a couple of hours into the night because they are just killing your feet! But we all know those women who will suffer through the pain because they look great. These, unfortunately, are the women who end up with serious foot, ankle, and back pains that can escalate from uncomfortable soreness to serious medical conditions.
In a study published in the summer of 2015, between the years 2002-12, there was an estimated 123,355 injuries specifically traced to wearing high-heels. Most of the women injured were in their 20s and 30s with injuries ranging from ankle sprains to shoulder and neck injuries. Stiletto heels and pointed toes may be your love interest, but hammertoe is painful and knee injuries could result in expensive surgeries and a long downtime. But, is it possible to find sexy, comfortable heels that provide enough support and cushioning to minimize the chances of these health concerns?
What to look for when buying comfortable heels
If you’re turning over a new leaf and deciding to purchase comfortable heels for the first time, there are some things to avoid when browsing the shoe isle.
Say ‘NO’ to Stilettos
Stilettos pose a few problems for ankle and foot health – although shoe-a-holics can’t seem to avoid them. Most importantly, stilettos severely affect your balance by forcing you to place all of your weight forward on your toes. Women are more likely to lose balance while wearing stilettos which can result in falls and twisted ankles when you attempt to regain balance. The last place you want to end up in a cute pair of shoes and a beautiful dress is the hospital room to be treated for a sprained ankle or broken bone.
Just because stilettos are out, doesn’t mean there aren’t other options for heels! At The Shoe Spa, you can try on a pair of Salpy Yolanda Pumps in a sexy leopard print that have a thicker heel, making them much easier to walk in. Or, if you want a shoe that can go with just about anything in your closet – casual or formal – try on the AGL Scottie Wedge Heel in ivory.
Towering heels are a no-go
Ladies, why do we wear high heels? Obviously, we want the additional height to slim out our figure. The higher the heels, the longer the legs and that look is what women long for. Keep in mind though, you do not need an additional five inches of height.
Doctors say that the safe height for truly comfortable heels in around three inches. Going to much higher can result in several very uncomfortable and potentially serious health concerns. When wearing heels, your posture is completely altered, putting a lot of weight on your toes, your knees, and your lower back. This can result in Morton’s neuroma – tissue between your third and fourth toes thickens, squeezing the nerve and leading to numbness and pain – pain in your Achilles tendon, tears and strains to tendons in the knee, and more. Since your posture changes when you add heel height, your spine and hips are not properly aligned, leading to a higher possibility of back pain.
Use the three inch rule when buying heels, and you have a better chance of avoiding these injuries.
Try the Joan Oloff Vanessa Pumps in coral and beige! Not only is the heel the recommended three inch maximum height, but Oloff has completely reconstructed the footbed of the heels in her line to be one of the most supportive and comfortable heels on the market. For a more casual option that would go nicely with a sundress or a pair of jeans, the A.S.98 Lucas Heel in black has a low heel of 1 ½” that are beautifully designed with a very modern, fashion-forward look.
Avoid the pointed toes
This may be hard for most women, as pointed shoes are a classic style that many women love to wear, but not having enough room in the toe can be painful. Hammertoe is a condition acquired when you don’t have enough room in the toe box – or the front of the shoe – for your toes to fit comfortably and your toes eventually may not straighten completely. This happens most often in heels with pointed toes.
While you don’t have to sacrifice your love of pointed toes, you should be more careful when buying them. Try them on, and make sure when you stand up that your toes still have enough room and aren’t stacked on top of the other. The Sacha London Abigail pump in grey metal gives you a slight point and still leaves enough room for your toes to fit comfortably, and the metallic appearance is a very popular trend this year. For something more classic, the Peter Kaiser Reba pump in black has a bit more of a point, but the lower heels doesn’t force your toes into the tight squeeze of the pointed toe box.
If you want a sexy, comfortable heel, The Shoe Spa has a great selection for you! Our designers are often updating their collections and with the addition of some new brands, The Shoe Spa has new arrivals almost every week. Shop our collection online or stop in the store and see us!