My Blog

Posts for tag: High Heels

By Dr. Howard Schaengold
January 27, 2014
Category: Cold Weather


If you like to hike—even during our dark and rainy Sammamish winters—nearby Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park offers a number of trails to enjoy. Go out on a sunny day if you can, and watch the scampering squirrels or hear the birds trilling as you enjoy the brooks, falls and wooded scenery. Whether you head out for a brisk hike in the park, over to the mall for a day of shopping, or around the block to walk the dog, you want to keep your feet comfortable, warm, and pain free. That can be a problem if you have a bunion.

That bony bump sticking out at the base of your big toe can rub against your shoe and make you grimace with every step. Shoe choice to head off bunion pain can be even trickier in winter. The same shoes designed to keep your feet warm and dry in cold weather can sometimes be heavy or stiff, and fashion boots can be even worse with their high heels and narrow toes.

Don’t despair, though. Several companies specialize in bunion shoes, and offer attractive styles—from clogs and slip-ons to Mary Jane’s and boots—that will keep your feet warm and dry in winter weather. Bunion shoes also have wider toe boxes and lower heels to treat your feet kindly. You don’t need to give up on style to find comfortable shoes that won’t cause pain.

Podiatrists are a good source when you are looking for information about the best shoes for your feet. Dr. Howard Schaengold at The Plateau Foot & Ankle Clinic can expertly evaluate your feet, treat your bunions, and recommend the best shoe type for you. Contact our Sammamish office at (425) 868-3338, or request information online. Then, whether you live in Sammamish, Issaquah, Redmond, Bellevue or Kirkland, you can find shoes that will let you step out in style and comfort.

Photo credit -boogy_man - RGB-stock

By Howard Schaengold, DPM
April 01, 2011
Category: Foot Care
Tags: High Heels  

Wearing HeelsWhile high heel shoes may look stylish or complement your favorite outfit, they are rarely the best option for a woman's feet. According to a study by the American Podiatric Medical Association, 39 percent of women wear high heels every day; of the women who wear heels daily, three out of four reported foot problems. Despite the numbers, many women continue to underestimate the health risks associated with high heels.

High heel shoes disrupt the body's alignment, crowd the toes and force the body's weight onto the ball of the foot. Wearing heels can contribute to a variety of foot and ankle problems, including:

  • Achilles tendonitis. The Achilles tendon and calf muscles tighten and shorten as the front of the foot moves down in relation to the heel. This causes stress and painful inflammation of the Achilles tendon.
  • Bunions. Narrow-toed shoes can cause a bony growth on the joint at the base of the big toe. The bunion forces the big toe to slant in toward the other toes, resulting in discomfort, blisters, corns and calluses.
  • Hammertoes. A narrow toe box crowds the smaller toes into a bent, claw-like position at the middle joint.
  • Metatarsalgia. Continued high heel wear can lead to joint pain in the ball of the foot as a result of heels forcing the body's weight to be redistributed.
  • Ankle injuries. Because heels impair balance and increase the risk of falling, ankle sprains and fractures are common.
  • Pump Bump. The rigid back of a pump-style shoe can cause pressure that irritates the heel bone, creating a bony enlargement known as Haglund's deformity.
  • Neuromas. A narrow toe box and high heel can compress and create a thickening of tissue around a nerve between the third and fourth toes, leading to pain and numbness in the toes.

Still not willing to ditch the heels? There are ways to relieve some of the damaging effects of high heels.

  • Avoid heels taller than 2 inches
  • Choose thicker, more stable heels. Thicker heels are still stylish, plus they lessen the stress on your feet and provide better shock absorption.
  • If you must wear heels, wear your gym shoes or flats for commuting and change into your heels once you arrive to your destination.
  • Stretch and massage your calf, heel, and foot muscles. This helps relax the muscles and tendons and prevents them from tightening and shortening.
  • Avoid shoes with pointed toes

High heel shoes can cause pain and foot deformities that can last a lifetime. So the next time you go to slip on your heels for a long day at work or a night out, consider the consequences and rethink your options. If foot pain persists, visit Howard Schaengold, DPM for treatment.