Heels and Bunion

Hello and thank you for sharing your time here with me.

Today I’d like to go over the popular misconception
regarding high-heels and the pains.

During the day when I work in the Test Kitchen,
I typically wear a pair of closed-toe flat shoes for safety reasons.
However once I’m back in the office, I change my shoes to heels.

My coworkers have noticed the change since I start taking walking classes
and gradually told me their stories about how their feet hurt
all because of the heels.

“I used to wear heels when I was in 20s,
but they caused me to have bunion and now I can’t wear them” said my coworker.

“So you wore heels over a decade ago and since then,
you’ve worn only flats. Have your bunion gone away then?” I asked.

“….no. I still have bunion and that’s why I can’t wear heels” she said.

“Hold on. You are contradicting.
If you still have the pain after you’ve stopped wearing the heels,
then don’t you think heels cannot possibly be the source of the problem, isn’t it?”

Now I’d like to disclose here that I am not a licensed doctor or any health practitioner.
However, as a person who is learning about the theory of walking in heels,
I can safely say that wearing heels correctly has the potential of improving one’s overall wellbeing.

Except for the cases of genetic influence,
the development of bunion is said to be caused by weakening of plantar (foot) muscles
which results in lowering of the arch of your feet
which decreases the shock absorption capability of your feet

When your feet can no longer support your body weight
the arch is flattened and tendons get overstretched
The pressure and burden on big toe gets so much to the point
the change in shape develops into bunion as a result

To wear high-heels properly is to be on the balls of your feet ALL THE TIME.

In order to continue placing your weight on the balls of your feet
(and NOT on your heels) while shifting weights between right and left as you walk,
it is essential to use planter muscles as well as inner legs all the way to the
hip flexor, abs and glutes and so on.
Otherwise, you’ll lose balance and cannot make a step forward.

In another words, walking in heels signals you when you are and
you are not using the right muscle groups because of its fragility.

Because wearing in heels requires the use of so many inner muscles
(think like the way ballet dancers stand straight and tall),
weakened planter muscles that have caused bunion actually get strengthened,
resulting in diminishing the condition because of improved way of walking.

I’d like to conclude this post by sharing what my coach says:

“High-heels are like the lie detector. You can keep wearing flats in wrong position, but
heels will tell you when you are walking incorrectly by producing the discomfort.
It’s not the heels that cause the pain. It is us who is causing the pain.
We cannot blame the tools when we are unable to use them correctly.”

I hope you find this post to be encouraging that, with the right training,
you could have some day wearing beautiful heels confidently without any pains.

I hope you have a beautiful day.

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