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Stilettos

Every once in a while, I have to compliment a celebrity for abandoning her signature stilettos for more sensible shoes. A couple of years ago, Kim Kardashian shocked many when she was seen in black ballet flats during her pregnancy. Last year, Us Weekly reported that Lady Gaga sheds her stilettos when she gets home. Hooray for Kim and Lady Gaga.

Stilettos should definitely be scrapped for comfort shoes during pregnancy when expecting mothers are carrying a heavier load. This will also reduce the risk of falling or twisting an ankle. It’s good to see that some of our celebrities are using common sense and putting comfort over style.

Being on the leading edge for fashion footwear is not what I am all about, but I encourage women to put their feet first. Knowing that heels are the go-to footwear for fashion and dress, I do not counsel women to scrap them altogether unless there is an obvious medical reason to do so. Although the frequent use of stilettos can lead to terrible foot problems such as hammertoes, bunions, heel pain or plantar fasciitis, I suggest more practical options like these:

During pregnancy, wear comfortable shoes that are more supportive and wider because most expectant mothers experience edema and foot pain

Slip into more comfortable shoes as soon as you get home

Select shoes with a shorter heel and wider toe box

Reduce the frequency of use

Wear more supportive walking shoes for commuting to and from work. You can always change into your heels once you arrive at work

As spring approaches, it’s a perfect time to move your long pants, sweaters, and winter jackets into storage. This includes your stilettos. Now is the time to fill your closet with open-toed shoes, flats, walking shoes and sandals. Believe me, your feet and ankles will not only be the benefactor of these changes. Your entire body will benefit because your balance and alignment will improve.

If you find that these suggestions do not resolve your foot and ankle pains, please contact Dr. John Sigle, DPM, FACFAS, at the Foot & Ankle Center of Illinois at (217) 787-2700. I want to help you improve your quality of life and to enjoy the glorious spring and summer months ahead. The Foot & Ankle Center of Illinois is located at St. Mary’s Hospital, 1900 East Lake Shore Drive, Decatur, and at 2921 Montvale Drive, Springfield. If you are interested in viewing an interesting video of a new 3D scanner that reveals foot damage caused by high heels, visit myfootandanklecenter.com.

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