Orland Parks doctor of Physical Therapy Amy Harmening joins Jeanne Sparrow and Melissa Forman on WCIU’s You and Me This Morning to discuss the do’s and don’ts of women’s shoes. The feet are the foundation of your body so you want to make sure you have adequate support. If you don’t support your feet then you are going to have long term effects in the future whether it is ankle pain, hip pain, knee pain or back pain. A lot of the time when women wear a heel they are upright which is causing more stress on your back that you want to avoid.
The first shoe they discuss is the pointed heel shoe. This shoe is definitely one you should try and avoid. Most of the time there is no wiggle room in the toe area of the shoe. If you can’t wiggle your toes then do not buy the shoe. Not being able to wiggle your toes makes you more at risk to have bunions and splinters.
The second shoe they discuss is the stiletto heel. This shoe you definitely want to avoid. Be aware that the stiletto causes your base of support, your center of gravity and your balance to be off. All of this causes stress on your joints.
We recommend that you decrease your wear time if you can. If you know that you will be doing a lot of walking then bring a pair of supportive shoes to along to change into. If you are wearing heels daily this can cause some long-term damage. Do whatever you can to decrease your time in heels.
The wedge shoe is a great replacement for the heel. With wedges you have a greater surface area that allows you to have better support. Even purchasing a shoe with a slight platform in front can help increase your surface level. Another shoe option is a chunky heel. The chunky heel increases the surface area and can still be considered high heels.
Flats with a supportive arch are the best option for your back pain. Be aware not all flats are supportive though. For example the ballerina flat provides no arch support and can cause pain.
In conclusion we recommend if you have to wear heels make sure they are 2-3 inches max and look for heels with a chunky heel or a wedge so that you don’t throw off your balance causing back pain in the future.