Welcome to the holiday season! Cute dresses, lots of sparkle, decedent food and beverage, friends, family, and a large selection of crippling holiday heels. Some ladies live effortlessly in death defying toe crunchers with little consequence, but for the rest of us this time of year can take quite a toll on our little tootsies.
Photo: The Soulmates.com
Obviously, the best possible answer is to avoid the killer shoes and opt for the cute but sensible, lower heels, wider across the toes shoes, or of course the ballet flat. Unfortunately for those of us who are a little more vertically challenged and don’t want to spend our New Year’s Eve party looking up our friends noses, we’re going to have to sacrifice a certain amount of comfort in order to achieve that height.
How do we negotiate with our feet for tall and sexy throughout the evening and the ability to walk the next day?
Well, there is no cure for sore feet if you don’t wear these types of shoes regularly, but there are definitely a few tips that will ease the suffering.
TIPS FOR HEEL COMFORT
Weight it out
Keep the weight in the centre of your foot. It’s tempting with your heels raised to walk around as if you are on tip-toes, but keep in mind you are not on tip-toes!
Slender though it may be, there is actually a support under your heel, and you should utilize it! Placing the weight in the middle of your foot will not only take pressure off the balls of your feet and your toes but also the muscles in your legs.
Look at it this way, this is how you walk the rest of the time and you don’t get sore. If it works, don’t change it!
Keep you leg joints aligned. Have you ever found that after an evening in heels, your hips are sore? That doesn’t seem to make any sense, but it has to do with the bad habit that most women have of buckling at the knees.
This is something that came to my attention while weight training, but I soon discovered that it affects many other aspects of life. The solution is simple.
Keep your knees above your ankles. This doesn’t mean standing with super straight legs – a slight knee bend is ideal. This means not letting your knees gravitate in toward each other as the evening progresses. Gently correct by pushing your knees outward and then continue with the festivities!
Rock ‘n Roll
Roll from heel to toe as you walk. This seems like a no-brainer, but just like point number one, we have this idea that we must ballerina around in our heels.
You may have to walk a little more slowly and possibly less aggressively, not bringing the heel down as hard especially in delicate shoes. The same general principle as your usual walking applies.
Start with the heel contacting the ground and roll your weight forward until your toe is on the ground. This may take some practice, so don’t be ashamed to walk around your house in them before you start the season of parties.
Keep a neutral spine. Wait, you’ve heard that before if you’ve ever done any yoga. That’s correct!
What I’m suggesting is a real life application of what you’ve learned while sweating in your lululemons off. The tendency while wearing heels is to arch your back and tilt your hips such that your butt sticks out. This will cause a lot of tension and pain in the lower back.
Tilt your hips back into place, pulling your lower abdomen inwards slightly. Don’t go so far as to become the letter ‘C’ – you don’t want a hunch-back either. Try to think of your torso as if it’s sitting on a table top (like a mannequin without legs), and make that table level.
Perfect Fit, Happy Heels
Make sure your shoes fit. The final woe of the heel world is blisters. You can try to remedy the problem by band-aids, medical tape, stockings, or even knee-socks, but the fact is if you have bought a pair of shoes that don’t fit, they are going to give you problems.
When buying your heels, make sure you keep in mind the width of the foot as well as your shoe size. Some styles or certain brands of shoe will fit differently. The only way to know for sure is to try them on.
Make sure you try them on with same thickness of sock or stocking you plan to wear! Don’t wear thick tube socks to go shoe shopping and then plan to wear them bare foot.
It may not seem like that big of a difference, but it will be enough to cause the friction that will eventually give you blisters.
So don the seasonal apparel and matching heels with confidence. Dance your way through New Year’s Eve and still be standing for the midnight kiss. Let it be the merry nog, and not your feet, that land you laying on a friend’s couch. Happy Holidays!