' Weight shifting' in high heel shoes & other 'magic' acts. Basic physics explains how Louboutin's can be kept from falling off your feet

December 07, 2017

' Weight shifting' in high heel shoes & other 'magic' acts.   Basic physics explains how Louboutin's can be kept from falling off your feet

Even when you buy 'highlife' shoes they can behave like 'lowlife'. When the foot is positioned inside high heel shoes in an optimal place where it is designed to be, then even very high heels such as the Louboutin's in the photo are stable and will stay on your foot. However as soon as you begin to walk your foot shifts in your shoes and slides forward with every step, a gap forms at the heel and in open heel shoes your foot can shift sideways and fall off the heel.  This type of overall instability in high heels is caused by a  well fitting 'good' shoe becoming an ill fitting 'bad' shoe as you walk along in it if there is nothing to keep your foot form moving about inside the shoe. I know that the celebrity singer in the photo has not bought Killer Heels Comfort shoe inserts yet - I would have noticed her order -  so I know that her shoe fell off because she does not have stabilizing inserts inside her Louboutins. I am assuming she is wearing correctly fitting shoes. She probably did not buy the only pair of Louboutin's she could find that were on sale, and were so cute, but didn't quite fit right!

There are inserts invented, such as Killer Heels Comfort,  that really work to ensure that the heel of the foot carries as much of the wearers weight as it supposed to as per the shoe manufacturer. These innovative inserts were designed with the application of basic physics knowledge. There is no magical 'weight shifting'  hype about them, only solid knowledge about how an object (a foot) at the top of a slope (high heel shoe ramp) tries to get to the bottom of a slope by the force of gravity.  As you can see below the force on the foot is a function of how far up it is and the pull of gravity on it.  The higher the heel the more force there is pulling the foot down the slope for the same weight of wearer. Pain in the foot is created by the forces pushing the foot into the sides and the bottom of the shoe. 

In high heels the pain comes from two main surfaces in the shoe - the vertical and the horizontal. No other shoe insert designer has ever made the connection that there are two sources of pain - not just the one downward horizontal pressure on the ball of the foot. One vertical surfaces pain comes from the toes being crushed into the vertical front wall of the toebox.  Another vertical surfaces pain comes from the vertical back of the heel of the shoe rubbing against the back of the heel of the foot creating painful blisters. A good solution is to stop the heel from rubbing by eliminating gaps between the heel of the foot and the shoe. This can be done by putting in high heel shoe inserts that physically stop the heel from sliding forward. If the heel stays snug inside the heel area it won't go up and down, chafe and result in pain at the back of the heel. If the heel stays put in place then as a bonus there will be less weight and less pressure on the ball of the foot.  (A bad solution is to wrap the heel in heel pads that force the heel to come out of place and slide forward inside the shoe. This creates a wobbly unstable shoe plus puts excess pressure on the ball of the foot. ) 

Anybody can understand that if a ridge is put across a slope it will stop whatever is coming down the slope. The ramp from 10 to 35 degrees inside a high heel shoe is the slope and the toe grip at the front of the forefoot insert is the ridge.  The ridge stops the foot from sliding down the ramp.  The toes of the foot don't get forced into the toe box of the shoe or pushed into the straps of a sandal and don't get crushed or become painful. With the foot stopped from sliding down the ramp the foot is much more comfortable and the toes have wiggle room even while walking.  

At the heel end of the shoe the second piece of the high heel shoe inserts stops the foot from sliding out of the heel area of the shoe. The foot of the wearer stays put where it is supposed to be.  If more weight of the wearer stays over the heel, then less weight is pressing down on the ball of the foot.  When there is less weight on the ball of the foot in heels the forefoot is much more comfortable. However even if there is less pressure on the ball of the foot there still will be much more than in flats so the ball of the foot needs cushioning.  The cushioning in Killer Heels Comfort is PORON which is a polyurethane foam that rebounds when it is stepped on. The foot is kept very comfortable because each step is cushioned by 'fresh' foam that never flattens or 'bottoms out' to become a hard mass underfoot. PORON remains soft and springy to absorb the shock of hard surfaces that the foot walks on.    

There is no magical 'weight shifting' that can be created comfortably in high heels by forcing the wearers weight onto the arch of the foot.  There are some high heel insoles - 3/4 length or full length - that are made from plastic gel that have a bulbous raised dome that is placed so that it pushes up against the arch of the foot from underneath and forces the arch area to bear weight. The arch is not made for bearing weight and will quickly become very painful if there is an object pushing into it for many hours. However if the bulbous raised dome is lower than the arch then there is no pressure on the arch, but there is no 'weight shifting' going on either. For a minority of the population their arch profile matches the one of the bulbous raised dome and some weight can be borne by the arch in comfort however even for them there are some problems that arise from added unstableness in their high heels due to the foot being forced up and out of the shoe by a rounded slippery gel piece under  the heel.   

It has been written often that  “High heels are perhaps the worst possible choice of footwear.” They alter the natural position of the foot and put a lot of pressure on the ball of the foot. This is why extra care has been taken to provide the most intelligent design that respects how physics works to design inserts that physically stop feet from sliding forward on ramps, and keep feet physically in place over the heel of the shoe where there is foot structure that can take weight much better than the ball of the foot.  All pain points can be taken care of by these high heel inserts if you wear high heels that are three inches or less in heel height. After three inches of height in heels the ankles begin to get affected by the unnatural foot position.  The inserts can't help with ankle pain, for that the only cure is periodically resting the feet by sitting down. 

There is no need to compare wearing high heels to other habitual choices like smoking or eating junk food. There are ways to wear your heels and have pain free feet too. Some common sense guidelines to follow are:

1. Always put inserts into your heels to customize them to your foot for a closer to perfect fit.  The best inserts for customizing your heels currently available are Killer Heels Comfort because they are the only high heel inserts designed with application of the principles of basic physics. The inventor is a woman who has physically felt foot pain from wearing heels and knows where the pain is coming from and how to stop it.

 2. Wear high heels alternately with lower heels or flats throughout the day. Change your footwear periodically, don't wait until your feet begin to hurt. 

 3. Buy shoes that fit properly and comfortably right away at the store. Never buy shoes that are too small, that you can't walk in without awkwardness or are otherwise ill fitting and expect to break them in or stretch them to fit better later. Your feet can be permanently damaged by forcing them into badly fitting shoes. Besides there are thousands of shoes to choose from - and if in doubt about your shoe size always go up a half size, never down.   

 



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