High Heels: A Love-Hate Relationship
Who wouldn’t want to own a pair of lovely high heels? They’re all so gorgeous! Wearing a pair makes you look more sophisticated and lady-like in an instant. Plus, they make us appear taller and have longer legs. They also go so well with dresses, power suits, and any clothing period.
Wearing heels all the time does have some setbacks though.
Our body was designed to be centered and aligned from head to toe. Every muscle and tendon is connected from top to bottom. A slight change in the alignment and you’re sure to experience some problems.
When you walk on the ball of your foot, as is the case when wearing high heels, your center of gravity shifts forward. This causes you to adjust your stance to keep your balance by arching your back more than normal. This unnatural position will obviously be an endless source of pain in the back.
Aside from the irregular position of your back, your feet are also placed at an angle. The steeper the incline, the more pressure is put on the forefoot. The change in your stance transfers all your weight on the balls of your feet. Without extra cushioning, that high heel cushions for a ball of foot can provide, you are surely in for a lot of foot pain.
Remember that every muscle and joint is connected from head to toe? The pain from misalignment is not just isolated in your feet and back, it also extends to your neck and shoulders. Years of wearing heels will definitely have lasting effects on your whole body.
Already discouraged from sporting high heels? Lay your fears to rest, for there are ways to avoid the pain associated with it. With proper foot care, you can continue to rock those pumps without any worries.
Insoles: a Woman’s Best Friend
Inner soles or insoles were initially invented to ease the foot pains of weary travellers. It has since evolved to provide comfort to every shoe-wearing person, and has been a heaven-sent to high heel enthusiasts around the globe.
How Do They Help Our Feet?
Insoles’ primary purpose is to return your foot’s shape to its normal form and realign it to its natural position. Yes, your foot is still at an angle inside your shoes. However, with proper high heel cushions, your foot will have support to keep its natural arch and the weight it receives is distributed through the entire foot. With the pressure spread out, there is less chance of experiencing pain in the balls of your feet.
Same as how teeth braces work, insoles make sure that pressure is applied to certain areas to keep them in the right position. For this reason, there are various types of insoles available in the market offering varying levels of support.
Different Types of Insoles
Full-length Gel insoles
- These are shoe inserts that span the whole length of the footwear.
- They can be cut to size to ensure a perfect fit in your shoe. This guarantees that it will not move around when you walk.
- The gel cushions the heel and forefoot and also provides arch support.
Long and slim gel insoles
- Sometimes shoes feel tight when wearing full-length insoles. So these ones were specifically made for high heels.
- It spans the heel until the ball of the foot.
- The gel insoles provide the same arch support and cushion, but the slim design preserves the shoe’s perfect fit.
- These are self-adhesive, so they stick to any shoe and stay in place.
Arch support insoles
- These insoles provide comfort to the middle part of your foot.
- There are different supports for the different foot arch types: flat feet, more arched feet, neutral arched feet
- They help with weight distribution along the foot and prevent your feet from sliding forward.
- Some are designed to adhere to the shoe; others are worn as arch support sleeves.
Ball of foot cushions
- The best high heel inserts for ball of foot support.
- These gel metatarsal pads offer shock-absorption and pressure distribution across the balls of your feet.
- The adhesives keep them in place; but it also lets you reuse them in another shoe.
- They are usually transparent, so you can partner them with any shoe.
Back-of-heel cushion pad grips
- Similar to the full-length insoles, it covers the whole length of the foot plus a cushion on the back of the heels.
- Aside from the usual support, it protects the back of the foot from chafing and slipping out of the shoe when walking.
Custom fitting insoles
- You can have these customized based on your needs and preferences.
- These are so expensive though that you’re better off buying 4 quality insoles for the price of just one of these.
Some insoles might feel uncomfortable to wear the first time. Much like shoes, they do need breaking-in, too. Your feet may also be unaccustomed to how they should be properly positioned. Try to wear them for a while before deciding to switch to a different insole.
With proper support, pain can definitely be avoided. Find the most comfortable insoles to enjoy any stunning pair of heels in your closet!