High heels are great for a confidence boost but can be damaging to your feet when worn for extended periods. Your favorite high heels can negatively affect your feet by either deforming them or putting too much pressure on certain foot structures.
Let’s talk about foot conditions that could develop from wearing high heels. We’ll give you some tips to relieve symptoms, as well!
Wearing high heels can increase your risk of developing bunions, a common foot deformity, especially among females. This condition arises from bones at the base of the big toe moving out of position. As a result, you develop a bulging bump in this area that causes the big toe to bend toward the rest of the toes. Bunions often cause pain, swelling, soreness, and redness.
According to experts, factors that cause bunions include heredity, deformities since birth, and foot stress or injuries. Arthritis, particularly inflammatory types like rheumatoid arthritis, also contributes to the development of bunions. High-heeled, narrow, or tight shoes increase the risk of bunions, as well.
There are several home remedies for bunion relief you can try. It could be as simple as changing your shoes, applying ice, or using shoe inserts.
Hammertoe is a foot deformity resulting from an imbalance in tendons, muscles, or ligaments. It mostly affects the second toe. This condition can make it painful and difficult to move the affected toe.
High-heeled or tight footwear could crowd your toes and prevent them from lying flat. Consequently, your toes may stay curled even when you’re no longer wearing footwear. Injuries where you break, stub, or jam your toe could also lead to a hammertoe.
The risk of developing hammertoe increases as you age. Other factors include certain diseases, such as diabetes and arthritis, and wearing shoes that cramp the toes. For some people, hammertoe could be an inherited condition.
Prevent hammertoe by using low heels more often. You can also use shoe pads and inserts to relieve your symptoms and reposition your toes.
Another condition that could develop from wearing high heels is Morton’s neuroma. This foot condition occurs with the compression and inflammation of a nerve near the toes. Morton’s neuroma affects the ball of the foot, especially between the third and fourth toes.
If you have Morton’s neuroma, you could feel a numbness or tingling in your toes and burning pain in the ball of your foot. The feeling is similar to that of standing on a pebble inside your shoe.
In addition to wearing high heels, high-impact sports also contribute to the development of Morton’s neuroma. Certain foot deformities also trigger this condition, including:
- Flat feet
- High arches
Switching to low-heeled and wider-toed footwear could relieve symptoms. Your podiatrist might suggest surgery or cortisone injections if home remedies and therapy do not work for your condition.
High heels misshape your feet and add pressure to the front of the foot, increasing your risk of getting metatarsalgia. Its symptoms include a burning and sharp pain in the ball of your foot that worsens when you walk, run, or stand. Your toes could also feel tingling and numbness.
You could develop metatarsalgia if you participate in intense sports, especially while wearing poorly fitted shoes. Excess weight also has a part in the condition’s progress, because it adds pressure to your metatarsals.
Untreated metatarsalgia could result in pain in other parts of the foot and even the body. You can ease your symptoms by resting and switching to comfortable, well-fitted footwear.
Corns And Calluses
Corns and calluses are hardened sections on the skin of the feet characterized by thick, flaky, rough, and dry areas and hardened bumps. Corns usually appear on the tops and sides of your toes and are painful once pressed. On the other hand, calluses mostly develop on the soles of the feet but are rarely painful.
High heels and tight shoes could cause compression to some areas of the foot, causing corns and calluses. Bunions, hammertoes, and other foot deformities also contribute to these skin conditions. To prevent and avoid exacerbating corns and calluses, it’s best to wear shoes that give your toes plenty of wiggle room.
Excellent Podiatrist in Naples, FL
If you notice any changes in your feet resulting from wearing high heels, visit a podiatrist. The earlier they diagnose and treat your condition, the less likely you’ll need to undergo invasive treatments. More importantly, they can help keep your feet healthy moving forward.
Here at Joint Replacement Institute, our board-certified foot and ankle specialist will be sure to provide you with excellent care. You can contact us at (239) 261-2663 for inquiries or request an appointment online. We look forward to giving your feet the care they deserve!