“I just rescued a pair of shoes. They were trapped in a store.”

I must have been Cinderella in my past life because my go-to fashion accessory is always shoes… those tall, skinny three-inches (or more) high heels. They may be painful to wear but my shoes have gotten me cool jobs, allowed me to meet amazing people, taken me to awesome places, partied with the well-heeled crowd, impressed my dates, and so much more. But at the end of the day, I’m exhausted. My dainty, little feet are just begging me to take those killer shoes off and give them a break.

Pretty as they are, those sky-high heels when worn too long can actually cause long-term pain not only on the feet but also on the knees and back which then leads to discomfort when standing and walking. Stilettos challenge the body’s ability to balance, and all of the muscles of the legs must work to stabilize the ankle.

Walking is split into two phases. The swinging phase and stance phase. Any shoe that inhibits the weight from falling where it should as we walk, can lead to pain. Clearly high heels are the main culprit because both ‟push-off” and ‟heel-strike” happen mainly on the ball of the foot with little or no support at the ankle. But even those cute little ballet flats, mules, or sandals that don’t offer support to the ligaments of the arch, toe joints, or ankle will throw off the rhythm of your natural gait.

Bunions, hammer toes, and pump-bump (that bony enlargement at the back of the heel bone) can make even the prettiest of shoes lose their luster and let’s face it, when your feet hurt the whole body hurts. So, it’s important not to tiptoe around the importance of looking after your feet not only for aesthetic purposes but for overall health.

Here are some tips to avoid foot pain when wearing high heels:

  • First off, buy shoes that are the right size. There is no shame in a size 11 except when it is crammed into a size 8 and there are toes falling over the front edge. It’s best to try on shoes after a full day because your feet are already hot and swollen. This will give you a much more realistic idea of how those shoes will feel long-term.
  • Try to look for 2 to 2 1/2-inch heels. This is about the elevation when we stand on our toes therefore our body can still find it’s center of balance.
  • Look for a wider toe box with a shape that matches your toe shape — the more pointed the toe of the shoe, the more the toes are crowded together, with more pressure on the ball of the foot.
  • Wear those spiky, pointy numbers for as little time as possible with down time in between. Let’s call those dinner shoes — you wear them to the restaurant and kick them off under the table until the meal is over.
  • And if you know a pair of shoes becomes uncomfortable after a few hours, have a back-up. It seems quite customary now for flatter shoes to be worn at weddings after the main ceremony is over and the eating and dancing has started.
  • And to make dressy heels more comfortable, invest in foot accessories that cushion body weight inside the shoe.

When you get home and can finally give your tired feet some attention, sit down, take off your shoes and swing your ankles in slow circles. Gently massage your arches and Achilles tendons on both feet.

A foot soak is also a great idea. Start with cool water for about 10 minutes. This will diminish any swelling and discomfort. Then add hot for another ten. Follow that with more circular stretches. Then reward yourself with a light layer of any foot cream with Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Bayberry, or Juniper. Aaaaah!

Here’s a few foot-pampering soak recipes

Fill a bowl with enough hot water to cover both feet to ankle height. Add ½ cup Epsom salts and 1 cup of Baking soda then select one of these three recipes according to your needs. Add about 10 drops of oil collectively to each soak.

For Aching feet:

4 drops of chamomile, 4 drops of lavender, and 2 drops of peppermint.

For Foot warming:

5 drops of rosemary, 3 drops of clove bud, and 2 drops of ginger.

For Cooling swollen feet:

6 drops of peppermint, 1 drop of rosemary and 3 drops eucalyptus.

So, go ahead, wear those gold lamé sling backs with the singular sequined strap around the big toe and the lime-green fur along the insole. But also remember to take care of your feet before and after. That way when you say that your dogs are barking, you’ll be talking about the one’s in your backyard!

For more skincare and wellness tips, call us at Skinsense Wellness at (323) 653–4701, or check out our other blogs on Medium. And for skincare services, please visit us at 8448 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048. We have re-opened our doors and are happy to welcome you all back.