THE BLOG
04/25/2014 09:31 am ET Updated Jun 25, 2014

Businesswomen Who Wear Stilettos Have a Love-Hate Relationship With Them

Business is business but how we present ourselves is part of the pitch. Women in business want to feel good when pitching a deal or making a presentation. Dress for success starts from the bottom up. Stilettos first!

Stilettos are a major part of the dress code when dressing professionally. Style is a priority!

However, there is a price to pay for looking your best and when your feet hurt wearing stilettos, everything hurts! In my practice many of my female patients are professionals and want to look good. Expensive shoes do not guarantee comfort because often times it is how the shoes are designed that can trigger potential foot problems.

Women who have to travel because of their profession may experience foot problems more often because they are always on the run. They do not have the luxury of going home kick their feet up and pamper them, after work.

Whether you're required to travel for business or not, women's fashion footwear can create foot problems when wearing them for long hours and standing on hard floor surfaces. Most of the complaints I hear about from my patients are that the balls of their feet burn or hurt after a long day.

They also complain about arch cramps or tired feet. The reasons the ball of the foot may become painful or burn is because of the pitch or angle of the footwear is too steep throwing the ball of the foot forward and directly on the ground. It is as if you're standing directly on the ball of your foot. Most fashion footwear is designed without comfort in mind and does not have adequate padding present in the innersole of the shoe. Therefore the ball of the foot becomes exposed to the thin leather outer-sole, very little padding in the toe box and usually a hard floor surface. During the normal course of a day, the ball of your foot will slip and slide around in the shoe eventually causing a burning sensation when walking. Often times a will callous will begin to develop as a protective layer of skin; however the callous may become too thick and painful, therefore needing to be trimmed down by your podiatrist. Although there are over the counter products that say they remove calluses, calluses cannot be permanently removed and form because of normal slipping and sliding which causes friction when wearing shoes.

Arch cramps or muscle spasms are another byproduct of the pitch. The muscles in the foot have to adapt to different shoe angles and can spasm or cramp because of the angle of how the foot fits in the shoe. The foot is a mobile adapter and can adapt to different shoe angles but the muscles in the arch of the foot will eventually fatigue, get tired and make you want to take your shoes off and head for the nearest spa for a foot massage.

There are some simple solutions to help mitigate these types of foot problems women experience when wearing stilettos, especially for women who travel. Your feet are the last thing's you want to worry about when working!

Traveling in stilettos is tough on the feet because of standing in long lines on hard floor surfaces and then hitting the floor running once you land. Feet can also swell during the flight making your shoes very uncomfortable. Wearing different heel heights such as flats when traveling can be very helpful and relax the muscles of the foot. It will reduce the pitch or angle of the foot in the shoe preventing the muscles to tighten. Also taking your stilettos off during a long flight and massaging the muscles in the bottom of the foot would increase the circulation and relax them while flying. Carrying a soft tennis ball in your travel bag that you can roll the bottom of your foot on during a long flight or once you get back to the hotel can be very relaxing too.

To make your stilettos more comfortable and reduce the burning on the ball of the foot, try placing a full length soft insole in your shoes. There are many types of foam and gel insoles available to choose from. This will help reduce the burning pain and friction caused by the foot sliding forward in the shoe. Another solution to these types of problems is arch supports that you can find on line or at your local pharmacy. Instant Arches is one of the many arch support products that can fit into stilettos or any type of fashion footwear. These products will help prevent arch cramping, prevent your foot from slipping and sliding and take pressure off the ball of the foot. Custom made orthotics made by foot specialists can also be very helpful in making your shoes more comfortable and can be made to accommodate your heel height.

Women who wear stilettos for professional reasons have a love hate relationship with them, they look good but are not always comfortable.