Hi. My name is Christine and I am a shoe addict; that's a fact and I’m not ashamed to admit it.
I can justify any footwear purchase. The same shoe in four different colors? Well, duh, you can never have too many pink, yellow, metallic, or black stilettos. Seven pairs of nude heels? Different styles for different occasions.
Basically, I love heels! Pumps, peep-toes, booties, T-straps, four-inch heels, six-inch heels--the higher the better. But with a great pair of heels comes great responsibility. READ: taking care of your feet to avoid and prevent injury, cuts, pain, discomfort, and unflattering tootsies. Here are the methods I use to make sure my shoegasms are more pleasure than pain.
1. Buy The Correct Shoe Size
Pointy-toe shoes and high heel stilettos can create cuts, scrapes, calluses, bunions, corns, and hammertoes if they're too small or too narrow. Do not buy a smaller size and hope that it will stretch out over time. The ideal fit will not be too tight, but it also won't slip up and down, which causes the rubbing that causes blisters.
These mini-exercises were taught to me by my little sister, who is a kick-ass gymnast and knows techniques for proper body conditioning. These stretch routines can also be effective for the chronic high heel wearer.
Point and flex. Sitting up with your legs straight out in front of you, slowly point your toes as far down as you can and flex them back up. This will stretch your tendons and warm up your muscles.
Calf stretch. Stand facing a wall with your feet flat on the floor and place your hands on the wall at chest-height. Lunge your right knee toward the wall until you feel a stretch in your left calf. Hold for three seconds, release, and switch to lunge your left knee and stretch your right calf. Repeat five times for each leg.
Tennis ball massage. Place a tennis ball on the floor and gently roll it beneath the arches of your feet. This will alleviate tension, cramps, and pain.
Ankle circles. Rotating your ankles for about 15 seconds in each direction will increase blood flow to your feet, which helps prevent swelling.
3. Carry Supportive Shoes Or Flats
Whether I'm headed to work or out for a night on the town, I almost always have a pair of flats with arch support in tow. There's no use in putting stress on your feet while traveling to your destination.
4. Treat Your Feet To An Epsom Salt Foot Bath
After a long day of standing, walking, and running around in heels, you can soothe sore feet with an Epsom Salt foot soak. Epsom Salt is a pure mineral of magnesium and sulfate that can be absorbed through the skin. The magnesium is an important ingredient to help repair tissue. Remember to prepare the soak with warm water, to open pores and ease muscle pain and tender feet.
5. Sleep In Petroleum Jelly Socks
Vaseline is one of the easiest and most effective ways to heal dry and cracked feet. (Because cracked heels peeking out of your slingbacks is NOT OK.) I use this overnight remedy once a week. Simply apply a thin layer of Vaseline to the tops and bottoms of your feet, slip on some socks, and dream of smooth, soft skin.
6. Moisturize Daily
Overnight treatments and Epsom Salt baths are very helpful in alleviating sore, cracked, and dry feet, but moisturizing daily is key to keeping feet hydrated throughout the day. Typically, the best time to moisturize your feet is after bathing, when pores are more open. I like to use a rich foot cream that instantly absorbs into skin to avoid my feet from sliding around in my shoes.
For more serious aches, pains, and foot issues, always consult with your primary care doctor or a podiatrist.
Remember: every day is a fashion show and the world is your runway. Go forth and strut your stuff with healthy, happy feet.
Any other high heel addicts out there? How do you keep your dogs from whining?