High heels for the holidays

Abandoned heels at a party

Abandoned heels at a party

I really love this time of year, the lights, the picturesque snow covered trees..and the holiday parties!! Year round I can get away wearing ballet flats or a small pump when I’m dressed up for a party but there are two occasions that I feel a have to take it up a notch,  by taking it up I mean the height of my heels.  Weddings and holiday parties for me are really the only time I’ll wear a heel. The heel height I consider big to most of you might not seem very high at all.  An inch and a half to two inches is really my maximum, and even at that I struggle to look ladylike as I walk (let alone try to dance) with these things on my feet.  I am without a doubt more graceful with my hockey skates on then I am in a two inch heel.  But on these special occasions fashion trumps comfort.  I have yet to keep my heels on for an entire event, I bring backups and part way through the evening have changed into a more comfortable shoe, not as pretty but not as painful either.

The morning after you’ve spent a day gallivanting around in heels and you wake up with aching calves,feet and knees is what I call  “a high-heel hangover”.

  It took me a while to figure out why my knees would bother me more than usual after a wedding, I used to chalk it up to my ripping up the dance floor all night but over time figured out it was the heels.

While you probably look great in three-inch stilettos, high-heeled shoes increase the compressive force on

My choice if I have to add a few inches. :)

My choice if I have to add a few inches. 🙂

your knee joints. Wearing heels also tightens your calf muscles, another common cause of knee pain. Frequent high-heel use can put extra stress on the inner sides of the knees, increasing the wear and tear that leads to osteoarthritis. Over time, wearing high heels can shorten the muscles in your calves and in your back, which leads to pain and muscle spasms.  Some women who wear high heels often suffer a shortening of the Achilles tendon because once the heel is pointed upwards, it tightens up. Stretching it again or switching to flats can be very painful; it can even lead to more serious problems.  There are many other issues that arise from wearing heels or any improper footwear for that matter, here are a few things you can to to alleviate some aches and pains.

Remember to stretch after wearing heels in order to give those muscles relief. Perform strength-training exercises for the lower legs and feet. Exercises like calf raises, toe raises and foot exercises can strengthen the muscles and tendons of the foot, calves and shins to prevent injury and help relieve pain.

Try a strengthening  stretch for your  Achilles tendon like this one: stand on a step or curb with your heels hanging off, and rise up and down on your toes.

Easy calf stretch

Easy calf stretch

An easy calf stretch: Standing about a foot from a wall, extend one leg behind you, keeping both feet flat on the floor. Point toes toward wall and keep rear knee straight. Move your hips forward, keeping lower back flat. Lean into the wall until you feel tension in the calf.

Your feet are literally, your base of support. If your feet don’t feel comfortable nothing above them will either so take care of them.

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