Walking in high heels is like walking down a steep ramp with your foot pushed by gravity forward in your shoes and most of your weight borne by the balls of your feet. The longer you walk the wobblier your shoes get as your foot is displaced from its’ optimal position.
The steepness of the ramp - which is making walking difficult- is determined by the heel-toe drop, which is the difference in height between the underside of the heel of the foot and the underside of the ball of the foot. The heel-toe drop alters the orientation of your feet. You have two options, which are to stop walking in high heels or use high heel shoe inserts to help counter the negative impact of a steep ramp.
1. There are three common styles of high heel inserts that are functional:The simplest design is a Ball of Foot Cushion made from gel or foam with a porous surface or a textured surface that creates friction to stop forward foot slide. The ball of foot cushion also cushions the foot;
2. Another design is a patented Three Quarter Gel Insole that extends the flat surface area at the heel end of the shoe to include the arch. The wearers’ weight is borne by both the heel and by the arch. (Some gel insole designs also have a ball of foot cushion at the toe end of the insole);
3. A third design is a patented Two Part PORON Insert for Heels that keeps the heel of the foot at the heel end of the shoe, keeps the forefoot from sliding forward in the shoe and cushions the ball of the foot. The two parts work together to stabilize the foot in high heels making for a more natural gait.
To be effective all high heel inserts have to perform two functions well.
A. Provide cushioning to the ball of the foot
B. Stop the foot from moving out its’ optimal position inside the shoe.
The two functions are reinforced by each other because if the foot does not shift inside the shoe more of the weight of the wearer is borne by the heel area of the shoe, and less by the ball of the foot – this in turn makes the cushion under the ball of the foot feel more effective.
THE PROS & CONS OF ‘BALL OF FOOT’ INSERTS TO ADD COMFORT IN HEELS:
THE PROS & CONS OF ‘THREE QUARTER GEL INSOLES TO ADD COMFORT IN HEELS:
. The one piece insole is placed against the back of the shoe heel, so it is easy to put it into shoes.
. The glue does not adhere strongly so the inserts can be repositioned
THE PROS & CONS OF TWO PART ‘PORON’ INSERTS TO ADD COMFORT IN HEELS:
PODIATRISTS & SHOE MANUFACTURERS AGREE ON PROPER FIT & INSERTS
Although podiatrists and high heel shoe manufacturers are at theoretically opposite ends of the spectrum in promoting the wearing of high heels, they both agree that high heels should always fit properly and that adding foam inserts can help with shoe comfort.
Podiatrists agree that most high heel pain issues (suffered by 71% of heel wearers) are exacerbated by ill fitting or too tight shoes. Pain from high heels may lead to chronic problems that do not disappear after heels are kicked off and aching feet soaked in cold water! These are serious issues.
Aside from not wearing heels at all, there are some healthier ways to wear high heels. High on this list are high heels that fit properly and inserts. Podiatrist Dr. Mercola says to, “Avoid shoes that cause your foot to slide forward, which puts extra pressure on your toes, and choose those with a toe box wide enough to wiggle your toes. Also, consider adding a…insert to heels you already own, which may act as a shock absorber and help to reduce some of the strain on your knees” …provide extra cushioning for the ball of your foot if you need it.
Stuart Weitzman, owner of Stuart Weitzman shoes, advises about buying shoes, “...if it is not comfortable when tried on, it should be put back in the box and returned to the shelf." He adds that shoes should never be altered to fit by stretching, “The only reliable alteration to a shoe that does not hold the foot properly is to add a foam pad filler.
The best compliment I got from a customer is that my inserts "do what they are supposed to do". This sounds like it would be the least of what should be expected of a product, but many products fail this elementary test! I claim that my shoe inserts "stop your feet from slipping forward in heels", and they do.
Ball of foot cushions have many problems. Too bulky, too hard, don't hold the foot back from sliding forwards and don't stick - even falling out of a shoe! Since 40% of ball of foot pad reviews on Amazon are fake making a good buy is difficult. This chart is based on analysis of 600 reviews to help you.
Review the ranking of the Best and the Worst in high heel shoe cushioning. See if you can find the one you wear most often, and compare it to the other six.
The 'secret' to making sure you get high heel shoe inserts that will work for you and give your foot maximum comfort is to never buy or wear high heels that are too tight. Customize your high heels with foam inserts that have at least three important features. 1. The cushioning should never crush. The 'new springy foam' feeling should last forever. 2. The cushioning should be soft, never hard and slippery like gel or a rubber/plastic combination. 3. The inserts should hold your foot back against gravity 100%. Much of the pain of high heels is from toes and forefoot being crushed. Bonus if the inserts you choose stabilize your high heels to stop wobbles - a big help in platform heels or high heeled sandals.