The world has long credited most female foot pain, lower back pain and tight calfs to the cute little heels they adorn. Whether it be for work, public speaking, a formal event or solely to add a few inches to their stature, women love the way heels look; however, they do not necessarily love the way they make their feet feel. As of late, many women have learned to love their height and have begun donning trendy flats. Flats are cute, typically less expensive than heels and allow better movement. They are also better for feet, or so many women think. Unfortunately for these women, flats can bring on a whole new slew of foot problems (darn!). What’s a girl to do?
Why Flats Hurt, Too
Aside from the obvious lack of arch support, tight toes of the shoe, and heels that are too low, can also wreak havoc on your feet, legs, knees, back and even shoulders. If your toes are squished, they can’t spread out to help balance and distribute weight, causing an unnatural pattern of walking, and, in-turn, throws your whole posture out of whack. And we all know how important good posture is.
Heels that are too low essentially absorb too much shock from the repeated distress of your heels hitting the ground. This too can cause injuries similar to those outlined above and additionally cause plantar fascitiis. But do not fret! You can have happy feet and the perfect shoes to go with that little black dress. Instead of simply trading in your heels for flats, or throwing out all of your cute shoes in an effort to save your feet, try to take preventative measures, reducing your chance for injury.
Avoiding Injuries in Flats
-Try to limit the amount of time and walking you do in them. If you’re going to be running around a conference hall or walking to your destination, bring an extra, more supportive pair of shoes. You can look good when it counts and still keep your feet and body healthy.
-If you can’t avoid wearing these adorable, yet painful shoes, do some pre-wear foot and calf stretches. You’re podiatrist should be able to instruct you on this.
-After a long day in flats, ice and prop up your feet to reduce any inflammation in your feet.
-Schedule an appointment with the Foot and Ankle Center of Northern Colorado for custom-fitted orthotics. These will keep your feet happy in almost any of your shoes!
-As always, if you have persistent foot, leg or back pain, consult your doctor to remedy the issue.
Just because flats have been targeted here, don’t forget there are other shoes which can cause similar injuries. Popular shoes like the chunky sole, but flat Chuck Taylors and the world’s favorite flip flops should be worn with care as well.