Melbourne Podiatry Clinic

Tips To Avoid Foot Pain From High Heels

42% of women out there will happily admit they’d wear a shoe they liked even if it gave them discomfort and 73% of them currently have some shoe-related foot problem. We know you love your high heels, so we won’t even suggest you’d be better off wearing runners, but if you’re going to wear heels our podiatrist Andrew Maitland from Melbourne Podiatry Clinic in Essendon gives some good advice:

  • Ensure you are properly fitted for your high heels in the first place. While this may seem obvious I’m sure you can think of a few pairs of high heels that allow your foot to slide forward or have a large gap behind the heel. Poorly fitting high heels can allow the foot to repeatedly slide forward causing increased pressure on the ball of the foot and the toes. Make sure your heels fit your foot by being snug around the forefoot without being too tight.
  • Cushioning! The fat pad under the ball of the foot tends to reduce in thickness as we age so add some gel pads under your forefoot in all your high heels. This simple addition can reduce the pressure on the ball of your foot significantly and is like replacing that fatty padding you may have lost.
  • Wear a thicker heel for stability. You will often see someone teetering down the street in a pair of stilettos almost about to roll an ankle. If you slightly increase the thickness of the heel this provides a more stable platform for your foot and reduces the amount of work for the muscles in your feet and ankles (plus you’re less likely to spend the afternoon sinking into the lawn!) Also if you alternate between high heels of different heel heights this can reduce problems with the Achilles tendon.
  • Pay attention to the ‘slope’ or ‘pitch’ of the heel. While some 4-inch heels will give you a straight drop down to the flatbed portion of the shoe, others will be a more gradual slope. This may be easier on the arch and might help relieve some pain in the ball of the foot.
  • Wear open-toe high heels to relieve pressure on corns and calluses. See a podiatrist to have corns and calluses professionally removed and correct the problem that’s causing them. But if that’s not possible, opt for open-toe shoes to take pressure off inflamed areas.


Andrew Maitland is a podiatrist at Melbourne Podiatry Clinic in Essendon.

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