The high heel wasn’t originally created as an accessory to wear with pencil skirts. In fact, according to Ancient Origins, the first heels – as depicted on a 9th century Persian bowl – were created for male horse riders as a way to stop their feet from slipping from stirrups. Of course, at some point in the 1600s, women adopted the trend and the rest, as they say, is history. From tiny kitten heels to sky-high platforms, high heels have been a staple in female wardrobes for centuries.
Most high heels are uncomfortable. Even your best, most luxurious pair will leave your feet aching after a couple hours of walking. Sure, beauty is pain, and we make sacrifices for the sake of fashion. But wearing high heels all day every day can actually cause some serious problems with your feet.
The high heel stretch
Regular stretching of the plantar fascia and calves will loosen hamstrings and work to alleviate back pain from your high heels. I recommend stretching before and after long periods in heels and sneaking in some foot work during breaks in your day.
Try this stretching routine during your next break:
- Lay a book with a one-inch spine on the floor.
- While standing, place the ball of your right foot on the book and rest your heel on the ground.
- Bend forward at the waist and try to grab the toes on the book. (If you need to bend your knees a little, that’s OK).
- Hold for 30 seconds.
- Switch feet. Repeat two to three times.
- Gradually increase the height of the book by 1-inch increments per week to a maximum of 3 inches.
High Heels are bad for your
Posture, Gait, Balance, Hips, Knees, Ankles, Feet, Toes
and especially for your back
The normal C-curve shape of the back is meant to act as a shock absorber, reducing the weight-bearing stress on the vertebrae and pelvis. High heels cause the lumbar spine of the low back to flatten while forcing the thoracic spine of the mid-back into a hyper-curved position.
To compensate for this (particularly if you’ve worn your heels all day and are getting tired), you will need to lean forward to release some of the pressure on your back. Poor alignment will invariably lead to the overuse of the back muscles and increase the risk of chronic back pain.