Which one of these six pain points in heels bother's you the most? The six pain points in high heels are: Instability leading to Wobbliness; Toes Overhang; Ball of Foot Pressure; Heel Gaps leading to Heel Blisters; Foot Falling off Shoes at the Heel End; and Toes Crushed by the Foot Sliding Forward.
THE PHOTO HAS RED ARROWS POINTING TO THE SIX COMMON AREAS OF SOURCES OF PAIN IN HIGH HEELS. All high heel shoes are subject to being unstable as one of the six types (see side of the gold sandal) , and all high heel shoes will create pressure on the ball of the foot as a second of the six types (see ball of foot of the black mule). High heel sandals may have toes overhang, a third problem,(see toe end of sandal) while high heel mules may have the fourth problem of losing a shoe if the heel of the foot falls off the shoe. (see heel end of the black mule). High heel shoes with narrow toe boxes and pointy toes are likely to cause crushing of toes and pain in the forefoot, a common serious problem and the fifth one reviewed (see the toe end of the black pump), unless measures are taken to stop the foot from being pushed by gravity down and forwards into the narrow toe box. Rubbing at the heel end of the shoe is a common problem that is number six problem illustrated.(see the heel end of the black pump). Gaps at the heel and resulting heel blisters commonly occur in most styles of pumps. It can also occur in sandals and sling backs if the strap at the back of the shoe is allowed to ride up and down on the heel.
High heel shoes are painful in six common ways. The pain in high heels comes mainly from two sources. These are the foot moving about inside the shoe, and downward pressure on the ball of the foot. If the foot inside the shoe is allowed to move, it will move mainly forward and down the ramp which causes pressure on the toes, pressure on the ball of the foot and gaping at the heel end of the shoe. Downward and forward pressure on the toes causes painful toes from crushing of the toe bones, bending of the toes at unnatural angles and nerve pain from squeezing of the forefoot from the sides. Pain from the heel gaping is mainly from blisters on the back of the heel that result from the heel moving up and down with each step. Blisters can also occur in other areas of the foot due to the foot moving in the shoe and rubbing against the straps or sides.
Inserts that can be customized for length of foot and orientation of the transverse arch and that have a physical rise to stop the foot from sliding forward due to gravity will hold the foot back from moving inside the shoe. This stops foot pain from occuring at the toes end of the foot - allowing for comfortable wiggle room for the toes - and at the heel end of the foot. It also lessens the amount of pressure on the ball of the foot.
If the soft, tiny foam inserts are such that they don't flatten and provide cushioning without crowding the foot, plus stay in place directly under the head of the middle metatarsal (the greatest pressure point of the ball of the foot) the inserts will be most effective in cushioning the ball of the foot. If the foot is stabilized in the shoe the wearer's heel will stay inside the heel of the shoe and maximum weight will stay at the heel end of the shoe.
Weight that can be kept at the heel end of the shoe is prevented from creating excessive pressure on the ball of the foot, resulting in a much more comfortable feeling high heel shoe. This is sometimes called 'weight shifting', but is more accurately keeping the weight from moving off the heel in the first place. The foam insert that fits just to the front of the heel is what prevents the weight from shifting off the heel either forwards or sideways. Sideways shifting at the heel is what causes the foot to fall off the shoe at the heel end in open heel shoes such as mules, sandals or sling backs. The 'front of the heel' insert is deliberately designed to NOT fit under the heel as this would raise the heel of the foot higher, cause instability by raising the centre of gravity, and could make the heel fall off the shoe in open heeled footwear.
While all of these six pain points can be eliminated by outfitting high heels with two part, sculpted, customizable and uncrushable PORON inserts there are additional pain points that cannot be eliminated by high heel shoes inserts or high heel shoe insoles of any kind including high heel insoles that distribute some weight to the arch of the foot. The pain that cannot be eliminated by inserts or insoles is pain that originates in the ankle or as posture changes. Ankle pain is often caused by the weight of the wearer bearing down on ankle bones that are not in a position to be bearing weight due to their mis alignment by a foot in an unnatural position in high heels. The higher the heel the worse the pain usually. Generally heels less than 3" high are not a problem, but nearly all heels over 3" high are painful at the ankle for women with feet smaller than US size nine. The only 'cure' for pain coming from the ankles or further up the body such as in the back is to take high heel shoes off and let the ankles and body have a break for however long it takes for the pain to go away. High heels with over 3" heel height should be worn with caution. Never wear heels higher than 3" for longer than a half hour without a sit down break. This applies even if you have the best shoes money can buy that are outfitted with the best high heel inserts that money can buy!
The fit of high heels is a dilemma. Buy them with a snug fit so they stay on your feet – and suffer the consequences when you stay late to a party and your feet are so painful you can’t even walk, let alone dance!
Or buy them with a loose fit so you can easily wiggle your toes - and suffer the consequences when you wear them to a morning wedding – and just as you are leaving the church you lose a shoe on the stairs nearly twisting your ankle!
Corporette is one of the best fashion, lifestyle and career advice columns. It is hosted by a woman with a wonderful eye for fashion who used to be a lawyer in New York. The fashions, including the shoes, reviewed on Corporette are very well researched and analyzed by the brightest women anywhere, who also need to go to work looking great. A wonderfully useful column on "Corporette is their Guide to Comfortable Heels" It was initially drafted in 2011, although many of the shoes mentioned are from well established excellent shoe manufacturers , there are some notable shoe brands such as Aquazurra who make stunningly fashionable (and comfortable) shoes that are not on the list. Also Killer Heels Comfort shoe inserts for high heels were patented after the Corporette.com "Guide to Comfortable Heels" was printed. These inserts are much better than the ones mentioned in the guide, which are variations of inserts for high heels that have been around for 20 years or more and continue to have problems in function and fit.