Why Do High Heels Hurt My Feet? What Can I Can Do About It?
High Heels 101
Ultra-high heels force the feet into a position that puts stress on the ball of the foot. At this joint, the long metatarsal bones meet the smaller toe bones (phalanges). Too much pressure in this area can inflame these bones and the nerves that surround them. For daily wear, ultra-high (3" and above) heels might not be the best idea. They look fabulous but can cause pain when wearing shoes that often doesn't go away when you take the shoes off. The reason for this is because the constant pressure your body weight puts on the ball of the foot strains the ligaments and creates friction on the skin and underlying tissue leading to inflammation. This inflammation in the ball of the foot is called bursitis (inflamed fluid filled sacks under the metatarsal heads) or capsulitis (inflamed tissue under these bones).
Shoes with metatarsal pads that goes directly behind the ball of the foot can prevent or lessen this pain and decrease inflammation. What does that mean? Less pain from pressure and the ability to wear your shoes longer. The problem is that most high heels don't have a metatarsal pad. We recommend that for high heels you apply a high heel insole to your shoes to help reduce ball of foot pain. The best products fit easily in your shoe and don't take up too much room. Using a metatarsal pad directly behind the ball of the foot (metatarsal heads) to gently hold the foot in place, reduce friction and lift the ball of the foot off the ground prevents pressure. There are very few products on the market that are thin enough to wear in your high heel shoes. The other products sold for this purpose are made of gel or rubber and are applied directly under the ball of the foot. This padding seems like a good idea at first but without a metatarsal pad to elevate the ball of the foot, those pads actually put more pressure in that area by taking up space in the shoes and the bump of padding is right under the source of the pain, this hurts. Proper positioning of metatarsal pads is behind the pressure area to help reduce, or off-weight the pressure on the ball of the foot.
Leather Absorbs Moisture and Allows Your Foot to Breathe, while gel and rubber are not absorbent so they actually increase friction when your feet sweat. Insoles made of absorbent and breathable leather will keep moisture away from your feet and when leather is combined with a metatarsal pad your foot is held stable and dry.
The Solution for Foot Pain
We have found an excellent product that can be worn in high heels and actually sticks to the shoe so you can wear it in open or closed back shoes. These are made by Foot Karma, Inc. of Long Beach, California. The Half Moon High Heel Insoles and Slim Orthotics by Foot Karma are recommended by Podiatric Foot and Ankle Specialist, Dr. Eric Hubbard, to help people find practical solutions for foot pain. Podiatrists are uniquely trained in biomechanics; the structure and function of the feet. Their focus is providing care and treatment that keeps you moving. Foot Karma products are affordable, high quality products. Foot Karma Half Moon High Heel Leather Insoles are perfect for the woman who loves fashion, wants comfort and cares about her foot health. Reasonably priced at $55 a pair, they and are sold online at FootKarma.com and in select stores where high heels are sold. Other products sold by Foot Karma include Slim 3/4 Length Leather Orthotics for plantar fasciitis and heel pain and Cloud 9 Comfort Cushions to add extra cushion to your shoes. All of these products are Podiatry recommended. It is nice to know that there is something you can do to help with foot pain when you are wearing dress shoes, sports shoes and sneakers.