Fashion week is being celebrated worldwide; it's the beginning of fall and time to buy new shoes again. The fall collection of your favorite shoe designers such as Christian Louboutin, Jimmy Choo and Manolo Blahnik are now available at your favorite shoe boutique, department store or on line. Women worldwide are excited about the hot new "uncomfortable" fashion footwear to choose from. They are designed to look sexy, sophisticated and create an emotional buy. The reality is they are not designed to be comfortable or fit your feet comfortably. However, as the shoe gods say "better to look good then to feel good". The question is when buying new shoes and knowing how they can kill your feet. Why buy them! The answer is because I want too and they look fabulous with my evening gown, fall wardrobe, business suite or dress for that special occasion and I cannot live without them!
There are many reasons why fashion footwear or high heels may not be comfortable. The heel height, 6" versus 3" will determine the type of foot problems that can be triggered. Unfortunately our feet were not originally designed to wear 6" heels so they have to adapt to the different heel heights and slopes. Footwear designed with a steep slope or pitch will throw your foot forward placing all the weight and pressure on the balls of your feet. The natural fat pad on the ball of the foot will drift forward towards the webs of your toes and expose the head of metatarsal bones to the floor of the shoe. Fashion footwear does not provide enough padding in the toe box area nor are they designed with adequate arch support to take pressure off the ball of your foot. When you factor in that traditionally fashion footwear is designed with very thin leather outer-soles the ball of the foot can get very sore when walking, or standing on hard floor surfaces for long periods of time.
Another reason why these types of shoes can be uncomfortable and cause foot problems is because the range of motion in your great toe joint may be limited due to the development of a bunion deformity or bone spurs forming around the joint. If the toe does not have adequate motion and flexibility it will not be able to rotate around the joint smoothly. The great toe will not be able to tolerate the pitch of the shoe causing sharp pains and sometimes swelling in that joint. That is why you only want to wear them into a restaurant and kick them off once you're seated or bring a pair of flats when you plan to go dancing.
The lack of arch support in fashion footwear is well known and continues to be a major reason why women get arch pain, foot cramps, tired feet and leg fatigue when wearing them. Women who have flat feet are more susceptible to these types of problems because the arch muscles in the foot are unstable and get fatigued.
It is difficult to make a shoe with the perfect slope or the exact amount of arch support that will accommodate everyone's foot type. That is why orthotics or over the counter arch supports play an important role in making women's fashion footwear more comfortable and supportive. They take pressure off the ball of the foot, increase motion in the great toe joint, provide instant support and prevent arch fatigue allowing women to wear the shoes they love to wear in comfort.
The key to success in using these types of products is finding ones that will fit in the shoes without taking up to much room or change your shoe size. Custom orthotics can be helpful as long as they are not too bulky and accommodate the different heel heights. Over the counter arch products is another option and can also provide great support. The best way to find these products on line is to google key words such as arch supports, orthotics and instant arch support.
So buy at your own risk and walk happily ever after!
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