High Heels: Are They Hurting Your Health?

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Podiatrist Phil Vasyli Weigh in on the Do’s and Don’ts of Fall Footwear Trends

Women have different physiological reactions to high heels

With fall in full swing, heeled boots and pumps are many women’s go-to fashion accessories. Podiatrist Phil Vasyli knows how hard it can be for women to ditch their favorite stilettos in favor of foot health. For many, the idea of giving up high heels is a positively painful predicament. Fortunately, high heels don’t always have to spell “pain” for their wearers, as long as one is mindful of their effects.

Paying attention to symptoms is key to avoiding injury. “In terms of what’s healthy for feet, the best indicator is comfort,” says Vasyli. “Women have different physiological reactions to high heels. Some feel pain and others do not. The important thing is for women to listen to their bodies—otherwise, they put themselves at risk for injury.”

Remember that not all heels are created equally. “Wedges and platforms are more stable than stilettos, given the increased surface area in contact with the ground,” he says. “Boots often have broader heels and are wide in the forefoot, giving the foot ample contact with the ground and providing balance. Their construction often lends itself to more ankle and leg stability as well.”

Pointed toes aren’t necessarily the culprit. “There isn’t necessarily an inherent risk to wearing these types of shoes,” he remarks. “As long as the width of the shoe accommodates the full width of the foot and doesn’t crush the toes, it shouldn’t cause damage.” He does note that women with existing bunions should avoid this style of shoe, given that it can exacerbate pain and discomfort.

Recovery is key. After a long day or evening in a pair of heels, Vasyli recommends a few simple exercises. “The simplest thing a person can do is try to pick up a pencil or other object with the toes while sitting on the couch or at a desk,” he says. “Rotate the ankles left and right and flex the foot up and down. This helps the musculature and assists in circulation after walking and standing in an abnormal position.” Repeating these exercises for about five minutes can provide some relief from swelling and soreness.

About Vionic Footwear
Vionic footwear merges unparalleled biomedical technology with versatile, modern design fit for every occasion. Developed by Phillip Vasyli, renowned Australian podiatrist and founder of Orthaheel Technology, Vionic shoes help restore natural foot function and relieve foot pain due to misalignment, promoting a more active lifestyle. With premium materials, artful construction and streamlined silhouettes, Vionic’s men’s and women’s collections provide standout style with exceptional comfort and functionality.

The Vionic footwear collection is available at select quality retailers across North America, including Nordstrom.com, Dillards, Belk and Zappos, as well as VionicShoes.com.
To learn more about Vionic Shoes, visit the site at: http://www.vionicshoes.com

About the Vionic Innovation Lab
Led by Phillip Vasyli, the Vionic Innovation Lab (VIL) is an unparalleled collaborative of world-renown authorities with a common vision: to enhance foot health and advance affordable, innovative technologies that help feet and legs function at their very best.

To learn more about the Vionic Innovation Lab, visit http://www.vionicshoes.com/vionic-innovation-lab

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Amy Cunha
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