If the shoe fits, wear
it. Sounds simple enough, but for millions of women, this adage is
easier said than done. Many popular styles of women’s shoes
constrict the toes, place stress on the ball of the foot and don’t
offer enough support.
Three- or four-inch heels, particularly the thin stiletto styles
currently in vogue, can lead to a variety of foot and ankle
problems, according to the American Association for Women
Podiatrists (www.aawpinc.com), a group that knows firsthand the
pain fashionable shoes can bring. Although the best way to nip foot
pain in the bud is to wear a low-heeled shoe with a roomy toe box,
the AAWP offers these tips for those who can’t bear to be seen
kicking up their heels in flats.
" Go lower. Avoid those four-inch spikes, if possible. Higher, more
unstable heels can lead to ankle sprains.
" Pad it. Since high heels put pressure on the ball of the foot and
toes, add some cushioning with padded inserts, available in most
" Stretch and hold. High heels tighten calf muscles, so stretch
afterward to keep legs limber.