Three Reasons To Say "No" To Heels And Stick With Flats
Heels have long been the go-to footwear for women in the workplace. However, dress codes are becoming more flexible, and in all but the most formal of offices, you can generally get away with wearing flats. Here are three great reasons to say "no" to heels and opt for a comfy pair of stylish flats instead.
Bunions occur when your big toe is pushed sideways towards your other toes, permanently bending it at the joint where it joins your foot. They can be quite painful as they run against you shoes and put strain on your tendons, and the only way to permanently fix them is with surgery. Bunions are really common in women who wear heels since the foot tends to be pushed forward into the narrow toe box of the shoe. As long as your flats are wide enough to accommodate your toes, you shouldn't have issues with them causing bunions.
Your legs are simply not meant to function with your heels lifted a few inches off the ground. Years of walking like this can actually cause the tendons in the back of your leg, including your Achilles tendon, to shorten. Then, when you walk around without heels, these tendons become stretched, inflamed, and irritated. Tendonitis can take a long time to heal since there's not a lot of blood supply to tendons. It's best to just prevent it in the first place by wearing heels less often.
The arch of your foot is designed to flex and absorb shock while you walk. It can't do this well when you're wearing heels, so the tissues in your arch – and specifically your plantar fascia – tend to stiffen up. Plantar fasciitis, a condition in which the plantar fascia swells and stiffens, is very painful. It can make it nearly impossible to walk when you get out of bed in the morning, and a lot of women have to resort to cortisone injections to treat it. Why not prevent it in the first place by wearing flats?
Wearing heels to the occasional gala or date night dinner is not going to cause serious leg or foot issues in most cases. What you want to avoid is living in your heels. If you work in a place where women are still expected to wear heels, consider discussing the dangers of heels with your human resources department. If they realize what harm these shoes are doing to employees, they may be more willing to change the dress code. You can work with a podiatrist to find shoes that fit your feet comfortably and safely so you don't experience foot issues.