Heels put more pressure on the ball of your foot
Your upright foot is used to balancing on both its front and its back, so when you tilt it into your favorite black stilettos, it’s no wonder your forefoot starts to feel so much more pressure. According to Jane Pontious, DPM, chair of the department of podiatric surgery at Temple University, this pain in the joints in the ball of the foot, known as metatarsalgia, can even lead to stress fractures over time. The good news is that you can easily decrease the pain by decreasing your heel’s height. Research from the Spinal Health Institute shows that while three-inch heels put 76 percent of your foot’s pressure on your forefoot, two-inch heels decrease the pressure to about 57 percent, and one-inch heels lower it to 22 percent. That’s cutting the pain by more than half with a decrease of just two inches. Here’s what your shoe salesperson is secretly thinking about you.
High heels can cause plantar fasciitis in the heel and arch of your foot
Your Achilles tendon, or the band of tissue stretching from the back of your heel all the way to your calf, lengthens and shortens with your foot movement. When you point your toes and your heel rises closer to your calf (like you do when wearing heels), your Achilles tendon shortens. But too much shortening is a bad thing, according to Dr. Pontious. Because the Achilles connects to the plantar fascia, or the ligament that stretches along the bottom of your foot, shortening your Achilles tendon pulls on the plantar fascia, causing it stress. The result is a form of pain in your heel and arch known as plantar fasciitis.