Lose Those Shoes
The book How to Walk in High Heels by Manolo Blahnik fan Camilla Morton may answer one question about fashionable footwear. But the real quandary is how to spare your feet pain-without trashing your chic shoe collection.
The ratio of shoe style to foot damage goes something like this, explains podiatrist Robin Ross of Shelter Island, N.Y.: The skinnier and taller the high heel, the more potentially ankle-twisting the shoe becomes. And, if a narrowly sharpened toe box squeezes your little piggies day after day, don't be surprised if beneath your pedicure you discover black-and-blue nails.
Chic sneaks. Even so, "there's no way you or I or one of my clients is going to wear a pair of clodhoppers with a sexy outfit," Ross admits.
So to minimize the damage while maximizing the look, Ross recommends limiting time spent walking or standing in the heels. Wear running shoes to and from the event-and afterward, pamper your feet with a massage or an Epsom salts soak. Better yet, eschew 4-inch stilettos for lower heels or platforms. Look for shoes made of materials that "breathe"-like leather, canvas, or a running shoe's nylon mesh-rather than plastic. "The good news is that the pointy shoe is heading more toward the rounded toe box," Ross notes.
This story appears in the December 25, 2006 print edition of U.S. News & World Report.