The issue of wearing heels is complicated. You can see woman in them all over Boston, but many who are interested hold off because they are concerned by the issues they present. The problems of wearing high heels are well-recorded, and they turn many women off of wearing them at all. They can stress the ankle, knee, or hip joints and ultimately lead to back pain. The way they curtail the wearer’s movement can be uncomfortable, awkward, or even dangerous. Some see it as a feminist issue, concerned that it takes away agency from women when they are constantly less balanced and less able to move quickly should they need to.
But while towering heels may cause physical problems, a low heel is often more comfortable and supportive to the arch of the foot than a flat would be. Many women find their posture improves in heels due to the way the shoes make them balance their bodies. Wearing them attractively extend the muscles and tendons of the legs. And as they are inherently more formal-looking, they instantly dress up any outfit. If you find these advantages worth it, then here are some suggestions to wearing heels with maximum comfort and safety.
The proper way to walk in a heel, especially one with any height to it, is placing the heel on the ground before the toe with each step. Once your heel is on the ground, let the ball of your foot follow, then shift the rest of your weight forward. This will keep your posture correct as well as balanced for the shoe, and minimize the pressure on your toes. Keep your ankles as straight and centered as possible so that they are not unduly stressed either. You’ll find that heels naturally shorten your stride a little, so be prepared to possibly take smaller steps than normal.
It goes without saying that lower heels are easier to walk in than higher ones, and broader provides more ankle support than narrower, as well as being easier to balance on. A good choice might be to find shoes with a hidden platform, which give you the look of a higher heel but the comfort and ease of movement of a lower heel. If you need more support than even wide heels can provide, try out a pair of wedges, which have an elevated heel but a completely filled-in sole. There really isn’t much need to choose heels beyond four inches in height. They will give you all the benefits of wearing heels, and any higher will likely give you a lot more difficulty walking without any more advantage in either style or comfort.
If you’re new to walking in heels, a good idea might be to start off wearing lower ones and practice walking in them for a while before moving on to higher ones. Especially when you find yourself feeling awkward in your heels, practice in them before you wear them out somewhere you don’t want to be tripped up by them.