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Top 10 Tips for Party Shoes this Christmas

Posted 7th December 2009.

Top 10 Tips for Party Shoes this Christmas
1.Ensure an accurate fit as far as possible
2.Try to keep the heel height below 4cm to avoid ankle injury
3.Protect the toes with gel covers to avoid corns
4.Cushion the heel and forefoot to prevent soreness
5.Apply protective linings to the internal stitching to stop blistering
6.Try to wear high heels for short periods only to allow your feet to recover
7.Strengthen ankle muscles and joints by drawing the letters of the alphabet with your foot
8.Vary your shoe style to encourage a normal walking pattern
9.Try to keep high heels for special occasions
10.Consult a Podiatrist should symptoms persist or worsen

High heels, especially those over 4cm can offer a high advantage to shorter women and can also make the calves and legs appear shapelier… but thats where the benefits end. It is probably true to say that most women sooner or later, develop a love/hate relationship with their collection of shoes, that is to say they are often attractive yet painful to wear. As we approach the Christmas party season what shoes to wear can become a real concern for many.

But why can shoes cause problems for some when others party away with no apparent concerns? And what kinds of problems are genuinely caused by shoes and how can they be avoided?

High Heel shoes, especially those worn at this icy time of the year, is the shoe style of greatest concern to Podiatrists and is often criticised for creating a number of problems. Wearing high heels constantly places the foot in a position that it should reach naturally just before it leaves the ground. Most of the natural movement and gradual shift in pressure from the heel is lost while weight is constantly placed onto the smaller bones of the forefoot. This changes the dynamics of walking and is the reason why shorter steps have to be taken. Some feet struggle to deliver these normal mechanics so ironically feet with a higher instep or a tightening of the ankle joint are often better suited to a shoe with a moderate heel.

The slimmer fit of high heel shoes can create pressures areas to the skin of the foot particularly around the toes resulting in corns and callus formation. These problems can be alleviated by using protective products such as Active Gel Digital Caps or an Active Gel Bunion Shield in the case of big toe joint pain.

The heel area can also be tighter fitting and stitching within the shoe can cause skin irritation or blistering and lining the shoe with Gel Heel protectors from the FootHeaven range can resolve this. Otherwise an Invisible Hydrogel Plaster can protect the skin directly.

Higher and narrower heels can result in body weight being painfully transferred to the ball of the foot which can be protected with Gel Ball of Foot Cushions or Gel Cushions for pointed toe shoes. Wearing these shoes can also throw the bodys centre of mass forwards, causing an increased curve of the spine as compensation or to the side resulting in an ankle sprain or even a fracture.

Many women will suffer no immediate adverse effects from wearing their favourite party shoes this Christmas season. However, wearing such shoes for the majority of time can dramatically increase the likelihood of future symptoms so varying the style of shoe is helpful particularly when we are on our feet for long periods.

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