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.
The 'secret' to making sure you have the best chance of getting high heel shoe inserts that will work for you and give your foot maximum comfort is put them in heels that fit - never too tight - and choose inserts by the criteria of what is the softest and what you can customize as much as possible to fit according to your unique foot to cushion and stop forward slide. Bonus if the inserts stabilize your high heels to stop wobbles.
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.
Four high heel footwear styles from the “12 of the Craziest Shoes at Paris Fashion Week Spring ’19 ”, demonstrate common problems in high heels in these ‘uncommon’ new styles from Vivienne Westwood and Balmain. Also read the “The Real Reasons Women Wear Heels!”
Issues: How to stop foot from sliding forward in open toe stiletto sandals with ankle ties; How to stabilize feet in rocker-sole high heel platform boots with chunky heels; How to keep straps comfortable & stabilize sandals with thigh high straps; and How to stop ball of foot pain /toes crush in pointy-toe clear plastic high heeled boots with triangle plastic heels.
Even the Duchess of Sussex has high heel issues !
Three important tips for how to wear high heel slingbacks comfortably and safely and be able to walk naturally are:
1. Wear contoured PORON foam rebounding inserts made for high heels in shoes to keep the foot from sliding forward (especially critical with narrow toe shoes), plus cushion the ball of the foot from pressure inside killer heels.
2. Wear contoured PORON foam rebounding inserts in shoes made for high heels to keep the heel of the foot firmly inside the heel area of the shoe. The contoured foam will keep the foot from falling off to the sides at the heel, plus keep more of the weight of the wearer on the heel end of the shoe so there is less pressure on the ball of the foot.
3. Wear contoured PORON foam rebounding inserts made for high heels in them to keep the foot from moving inside the shoe, either sideways or forward at the heel of the shoe and at the front end of the shoe. High heels, especially ones that are open at the heel end, or at both ends - like high heel sandals - are very vulnerable to wobbliness. Wobbliness affects the wear of the shoe by making it unstable and unsafe. It also affects the way you can walk in heels. If high heels fit snugly to the foot then walking in them is much easier, with a more natural gait and less tiring because you are not clenching your foot and leg muscles trying to keep your shoes on your feet while you walk in them.