Should You Put Up with Agonizing Shoes?
It’s Saturday night and you’re meeting your friends for a few drinks at a smart bar. Standing in front of the shoe shelf, the usual dilemma ensues: do you go for the height-boosting, calf-slimming stilettos that leave you hobbling home, or the pumps that won’t push your legs into model proportions, but will at least mean you can walk the next day?
Your head tells you to choose the sensible flats, but somehow you still find yourself drawn to those glamorous heels, even though they appear to have some sort of vendetta against your feet. While some diehard heel devotees still swear that there’s “no pain, no gain” when it comes to looking good, others consider this theory utter madness. Should you put up with agonizing shoes in the pursuit of style, or show your feet a little bit more respect?
9 out of 10 women sacrifice comfort for fashion
Recent figures show that an astonishing number of women are willing to sacrifice comfort rather than give up wearing the latest trends. A study from the College of Podiatry found that nine out of 10 women in the UK suffer pain in their feet, and that half of us have worn shoes that hurt just to look good!
While it’s easy to view health warnings about our footwear as melodramatic, there are some serious problems that can arise from wearing inappropriate or ill-fitting shoes. A 3D scan of a person in high heels showed how the foot is forced into an unnatural shape that can lead to long-term damage. Possible problems include clawed toes, pain in the ball of the foot and bunions, besides tightening of the Achilles tendon. Although you might expect uncomfortable shoes to affect your feet and legs, they can also cause back problems and affect the body’s alignment. With so many nasty side effects from wiggling into your favorite stilettos, it’s not surprising that a study in 2008 found that it costs the UK £29 million a year to correct foot problems caused by heels.
Before you throw away your entire collection of glamorous but impractical shoes, these alarming stats and possible injuries needn’t be the final word on the debate. Invest in a range of women’s shoes that includes flats and comfy boots as well as night out numbers. There are also a number of clever pads and supports that will slip into your shoes to make them much more comfortable. When you do wear those agonizing beauties for an evening on the town, take a pair of comfortable flats in your bag to change into when your pain threshold reaches its limits. Like most good things in life, it’s all about moderation, so balance practical with pretty to stay pain-free and fabulous!
Article by Catherine Lavinia