Yes, It’s Possible to Wear Killer High Heels AND Still Feel Comfortable

Who doesn't love a great pair of heels? A posture expert explains why we're so drawn to those sky-high stilettos, and how we can find a pair that doesn't kill our feet.

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Suffering in heels

918/shutterstock If you’re anything like me, you spend a good amount of time deciding to buy a pair of shoes. And, while the occasion and the rest of my outfit come into play, so does the amount of time I have to wear them. Some heels are just meant for a few steps (between the car door to the door at the venue). Some are meant to be all-day pumps that I have to wear for a longer function, like for work or a wedding. But both look very different. To help you (and I!) find a pair of shoes that look amazing—and feel amazing too—chiropractor and posture expert Dr. Liza Egbogah gives us some insight and some shopping tips to avoid high heel pain.

Suffering in heels for men

melis/shutterstock The posture expert says: “I think many women conform to the male ideal of what a women should look like. Studies have shown that men find women more attractive in stilettos so women kill themselves in sky-high heels. Men also like a small waist with wider hips, which popularized the use of body disfiguring corsets – another accessory that leads to chronic pain and injury. As much as we hate to admit it, many of our fashion choices have to do with attracting the opposite sex. At least historically, that’s where it originates.”

Suffering in heels for a statement

Lumen Photos/shutterstock The posture expert says: “Most designer shoes are solely constructed for the beauty of the shoe, not for comfort. They usually have smooth, slippery soles, which means that your foot muscles have to work a lot harder to walk comfortably. They have a hard insole, no arch support and thin, unstable stiletto heels, which increases the risk of injury to the ligaments in the ankle and knee. They are also often designed by men who never have to walk in these uncomfortable shoes!”

Suffering in heels for a bargain

Moustache Girl/shutterstock The posture expert says: “The quality of material used to manufacture a shoe affects the comfort level and the overall fit tremendously. To reduce the cost of the finished product, often poor quality materials are used—manufacturers opt for cheaper synthetic materials as opposed to high quality leathers, which allow the foot to breathe and accommodate the foot’s natural shape. Shoe craftsmanship is also lacking in cheaper shoes, which means you wont find elements added for comfort like an orthotic insole and engineered platforms. The expertise of the people making the shoes plays a large part in the quality of shoes too.”

Suffering in heels for a bad fit

918/shutterstock The posture expert says: “To wear a heel comfortably all day you need to pick the perfect pitch. Pitch refers to the slant of the shoe’s sole, and the higher the pitch, the more pressure you’ll feel on the front of your feet when you walk. The ideal pitch is between one half to three inches. For example, if the heel is four inches in total and the platform is one inch, the net heel is a comfortable three inches. “The most comfortable heels also have a stable, thick heel, arch support, cushioning and a textured sole that is not slippery. It’s tough to find a shoe that fits the bill.” Egbogah has created a line of pumps that are wearable all day and are good for the health of your feet because of the above considerations so you don't have to worry about high heel pain.

Suffering in heels and compromising comfort

Evgeniya Porechenskaya/shutterstock The posture expert says: “Using beautiful high quality leathers will make a shoe look good while also making them breathable. A high heel is also attractive, so by including a platform you can have nice height without compromising comfort. The toe box is also important in the appearance of a shoe; a pointed shoe looks great but can cause pain, discomfort and bunions, whereas an almond toe creates the same lengthening and elongating effect of a pointed toe without squishing your toes together.”

Suffering in heels despite your health

Evgeniya Porechenskaya/shutterstock The posture expert says: “I think women should know that it’s better to invest in your health and wellness now instead of suffering the consequences—both physical and financial—of poor choices later in life. It’s smarter to buy one pair of beautiful shoes that you can wear comfortably and safely rather than buying five pairs that you can barely walk in due to debilitating pain.”
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