As a slave to fashion like many women tend to be, the mere thought of throwing away all my high heels makes me weak in the knees. With that said, Womensforum sat down with Dr. Emily Splichal, author of Barefoot Strong, which unlocks the secrets to movement longevity and anti-aging by addressing the rise in overuse injuries starting from the ground up.
WomensForum:Is it bad to wear high heels every day to work?
Dr. Splichal: If you are going to wear heels to work every day I would suggest altering the height of the heels everyday. All heels, regardless of the height, have an impact on our body alignment. Therefore, to reduce the risk of excessive stress on the body, variation in height is best. I also tell my patients to not walk to work in the heels but to put them on when they get to the office.
WomensForum: What are the most common foot issues and how to prevent them?
Dr. Splichal: Most common foot issues associated with the heels is ball of foot pain, great toe joint pain and heel pain. All of these issues can be prevented with stiletto recovery or post-heel stiletto stretches. After wearing heels, I recommend women do 5 minutes of calf stretches and to stand on a golf ball or release the bottom of the foot. If the ball of foot pain and great toe pain is too great when in heels, then either decrease the height of the heel or try more of a wedge style heel, as this decreases pressure to the front of the foot while still giving a little extra height.
WomensForum: What are the benefits of exercising in bare feet? heels?
Dr. Splichal: Exercising barefoot stimulates the thousands of the nerves in the bottom of the foot. Our feet are deeply integrated with the core which means a lot of our core strength and stability actually stems from our feet. We train this integration by exercising barefoot. I would never recommend working out in heels. There is no benefit to this and the risks far outweigh any benefit.
Dr. Emily Splichal is not only the creator of the #1 DVD, Catwalk Confidence (as voted by TimeOut NY), the V-Core and Stiletto Recovery fitness programs, she's also the go-to-doctor who gave Oprah a lesson in walking properly in her heels. In addition Dr. Emily is a consultant for NIKE Innovation kitchen and the creator of Evidence Based Fitness Academy, a continuing education institute which provides scientific and research-based education to health and fitness professionals.