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High Heels and Shoe Related Foot Pain

There was a survey done by the American Podiatric Medical Association that 73% of women wearing high heel shoes will have shoe related foot pain. Shoe related foot pain such as metatarsalgia, achilles tendon, hammertoes, bunions, pump bump, corns, morton’s neuroma, plantar fasciitis, stress fractures and ingrown toe nails. Most of these shoe related foot pain could lead to surgery.





If you have pain in your heel, arch or both then you may have plantar fasciitis. That’s an irritation or inflammation of the band or tough tissue connecting the heel bone to the toes. Usually it hurts worst in the morning when you are getting out of bed. You can feel the pain in your heel or arch. People with plantar fasciitis should wear shoes with good arch support and a cushioned sole.
Heel spurs are another source of heel pain. These are abnormal growths of bone on the bottom of your heel. You can get them from wearing the wrong shoes or from an abnormal walk or posture, or even from activities like running. The spurs may hurt while you are walking or standing. People with flat feet or high arches are more likely to have painful heel spurs. People with heel spurs should wear custom-made insert (orthotic) in the shoe. They should wear shoes that fit well and have shock-absorbing soles. Also wear a cut off heel pad.

Pain and inflammation in the ball of the feet is called metatarsalgia. Ill-fitting shoes are the usual cause. But you might get it from strenuous activity such as running or jumping. You should wear comfortable footwear and try shoe inserts to relieve pressure on the ball of the foot. Morton’s neuroma causes a thickening of the tissue around the nerves between the bases of the toes (usually between the third and fourth toes.) Typically you feel pain, odd sensations or numbness over the ball of your foot. It can be a result of wearing high heels or tight shoes. You should wear shoe inserts to reduce pressure on the nerve. Don’t wear high heel shoes or ones with a narrow toe box. Flat feet or fallen arches happen when the arches of the feet flatten out (often when standing or walking) causing foot pain. Flat feet can be treated with shoe inserts, shoe adjustments or using a walking cane.





A bunion is a bony bulge along the edge of the foot next to the base of the big toe. It’s associated with misalignment of the first toe joint. Anyone can get them, especially if they wear ill-fitting or uncomfortable shoes. Try changing to more comfortable shoes or wearing shoe inserts. If you are still in pain, your doctor may suggest surgery. A hammertoe is your second, third or fourth toe bends at the middle joint, creating a hammer-like appearance. It can come from a muscle imbalance, but it can also be brought on by wearing ill-fitting shoes. Your foot doctor will likely recommend you wear shoes with a wide,deep toe bed. Eventually you might need surgery. Claw toes is when your toe points down or up and is unable to straighten. It is often the result or nerve damage from diseases like diabetes or alcoholism, which weakens the muscles in your foot. Change to better-fitting footwear. Avoid high heels and tight shoes. Also try shoe inserts. Gout which is a form of arthritis can cause pain in the toes. Crystals collect in toe joints, causing severe pain and swelling. The big toe is often affected. Make sure you wear shoes that give extra room and support in the toe box area. Corns are thick buildups of tough skin on a point of irritation or pressure on the foot or toe. Calluses are wider areas of tough skin buildup on the toes or feet. They happen as a result or irritation or pressure. Calluses and corns are generally caused by poor fitting footwear. You should wear better fitting footwear. Also see a podiatrist who can scrap or cut the dry or dead skin from the calluses or corn. Then the podiatrist should suggest using a skin lotion or cream on both foot to soften and smooth-en the dry skin. Sesamoids are the 2 bones near the big toe that are connected by tendons. You get sesamoiditis when the tendons surrounding them become injured and inflamed. It is a form of tendinitis, common with runners and ballet dancers. You should wear low-heeled shoes. Also wear a foot pad under the toe in a comfortable shoe.



Finally, I have a corn on my left foot near my big toe. I see my podiatrist about every two or three months. He scraps or cuts the corn so it wouldn’t irritate me while I am walking. He cuts my toe nails and then puts a skin lotion on both foot to soften the dry skin. I hope this post provided valuable information about high heels and shoe related foot pain. Please write a comment and I will respond as soon as possible.



All the best,




  1. Philip L.

    I don’t wear high heels, myself, but I have wondered how much damage it does to wear high heels all the time. Thanks for spelling it all out. I’m all for people making their own choices about what they want to wear, how they want to look, etc., but at least you’ve given out some important information people can use in making that choice!

    • admin

      Hi Phillip,
      Thanks for the comment. Women can wear high heels but you shouldn’t wear them every day. It will probably lead to foot pain.

      All the best,

  2. RichardB

    You almost made me want to stop wearing high heals. I”m just joking but I remember my wife had a lot of leg problems when she wore high heals. Those problems went away when she went to flats or shoes with low heals. This information needs to get out there.

    • admin

      Hi Richard,
      I think women who wear flats or shoes with low heels put less pressure on their heels, arch and toes which reduces foot pain.


  3. Nickoy Mitchell

    I like this post. It is very informative and I like the use of pictures to show different types of shoes that both male and females can wear. I actually like to females, most of them that is, in high heels as it makes them look sexier to me. However, I never knew that wearing high heels can be so dangerous to the health of women’s feet. I will tell some of my female friends at work about this and tell them to visit this site so they can be more educated about it.

    • admin

      Hi Nickoy,
      Thanks for the comment. I hope you tell your friends about my website and you keep reading my articles.

      All the best,

  4. jlclayton1

    Women definitely need to read more articles like this one so they know the types of foot problems they’ll have down the road. I work in a job where I wear steel toed shoes, so when I wasn’t working, I always wanted to wear some pretty high heels. It didn’t take long before the aches and pains caused a problem with walking at work, so no more for me! Now boots are another thing, they’re my weakness, lol!

    • admin

      Hi Clayton,
      I am glad that you liked my article about high heels. High heels can cause foot pain for women who wear them every day. If you like boots then look at my advertisers who have many different types of boots.


  5. AmyR.000

    Great post. I have to stop wearing heels, as I am feeling the affects of long-term use. This really points out all the awful things I can look forward to — time to shop for flats. Thanks for pointing out that which no woman wants to look at!

    • admin

      Hi Amy,
      Thanks for the comment. I think flats puts less pressure on your heels, arches and toes when you are walking or standing than high heels. High heels aren’t meant to be worn every day. Flats are more comfortable.

      All the best,

  6. Chase Chandler

    Wow, this is quite informative. I’m going to be sure and tell my wife of this article – that infographic really sums up the importance of stretching and maintaining good health. She loves wearing heels and they look very uncomfortable, but I never really understood how many issues they can cause! Thanks for sharing this research.

  7. *Lyn*2018

    Great article with lots of useful information. I love wearing heels but I have started switching to flats more often because I was suffering from some back pain. It’s great that you take the time to explain all the different concerns and how to prevent or fix them. I will definitely be cutting back on my time spent in heels after reading this article.

  8. Alexjsmith

    I have to say, high heels are super uncomfortable. Being a guy just looking at them makes me feel annoyed lol. But hey it makes women look great. I can understand that they would get some series problems later though. My wife had to stop wearing them because of that exact reason. Her pain comes right in the middle of the foot. Tell you what, I miss her in em lol. Got to do what you got to do.

  9. Daniel Fernandes

    Hey There My friend,
    Daniel Here
    This is very self explanatory and it helped me to identify some problems i’ve been having ( not a high heels user hehe but I longboard/skate) and sometimes doing these activities can cause a lot of stress in that body region.
    Thankful for your content.
    Best Regards,
    Daniel Fernandes


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