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Heelarious feats

Do you love wearing your lethal 5-inchers but always come back home with severe pain in the foot? Here's what you can do to avoid the pain.

fashion and trends Updated: May 08, 2011 02:03 IST
Shara Ashraf

When Black Swan actor Mila Kunis entered the Vanity Fair/Bloomberg White House Correspondents’ dinner in Washington, last week, wearing a daring 5 inches high heels, perhaps she didnt know that her get glam weapon will soon cause her so much trouble. Kunis had to take off her heels and sneak out of the party as she couldn’t bear the pain due to the heels; while shutterbugs caught her in their frames.

Last year singer Lady Gaga had toppled down face flat as she lost her balance wearing behemoth black platform heels at the Heathrow airport in London. Despite the fact that heels often cause pain and discomfort they take a top slot in any fashionista’s wardrobe.

Staying away from them is a tough feat for any diva worth her salt to achieve. Monika Joshi, a city-based model and a self confessed heeloholic recalls, “I was once shooting wearing a short dress that I paired up with seven inches high stilettos. When it turned too painful, I had to pop painkillers to suppress the pain but I still didn’t give up and finished the shoot wearing heels.”

Doctors warn that wearing such high heels can result in extreme discomfort and even disfigure your toes. Dr P K Dave, head of the department of orthopedics, Rockland Hospital, says, “The permissible limit of heels is not more than one-and-a-half to two-inches. Whoever goes beyond this is inflicting cruelty. It can lead to conditions such as hallux vagus (a condition in which the big toe starts to deviate inward in the direction of the baby toe).”

So, if you can’t resist heels, go for the best makes. Construction of the sandal makes all the difference. “Never buy poor imitation of big brands. A sandal that’s made with the perfect mould will not hurt your feet. Good brands use technologies such as fall protection, and strobel (insertions and perforations in the sole to make it lighter and comfy) so that your feet doesn’t hurt at all,” says Sanjeev Jain of footwear brand Miss Sixty.

How to lessen the heel pain

Limit wearing heels
Keep those stilettos for special occasions. Wear wedges and platforms rather than pencil thin heels that create a severe artificial arch and put too much pressure on your feet balls. “Opt for thicker heels. If it’s a must for you to wear heels at a party, keep a pair of flats in your car and only wear you heels when you’re about to get down. Also change into flats as soon as you get out of there,” says stylist Dolly Gupta.

Care for your feet
Regularly soak your feet in hot water with sea salt. Massaging your feet with hot oil also soothes tired feet muscles. Go for a professional massage every fortnight.

Nice fit
Always pick a pair that fits well — it should never be too tight nor too loose. If there is even a slight discomfort, don’t buy them. “Don't wear heels if you’re going to dance. Slippery floors and pencil thin heels are a recipe for disaster,” cautions Sanjeev Jain of Miss Sixty.

The right heel
While fibre, plastic and silicone are not good choices for heels, opt for heels that are made of wood or cork. Get the toplift (the support at the base of a heel) replaced as soon as it wears off. You can also use foot beds when wearing heels (these are inserts that lessen the pressure on your feet and cushions them well). Capsule jells that can be applied on the feet before slipping into high heels might also come handy.