Making Your Feet Work For You

Fashion Victim: What You Wear Could Really Be Hurting You

You wouldn't be caught dead without your $500 red-soled high heels or, for that matter, their just as expensive "sole" sisters. But, lately, your feet have been killing you. Unfortunately, there are times that your fashion and footwear choices could actually be doing permanent damage to your body. The following are a few fashion pieces that could potentially cause your health problems. 

High Heels

Your feet may look fabulous now in their four-inch stiletto heels, but down the road, you're probably going to pay for wearing sky-high footwear on a regular basis. Why? Because high heels cause your weight to shift forward onto the ball of your foot and to cram your toes into the front of your shoes. Unfortunately, this can lead to the following problems:

  • Bunions. While high heels don't actually cause bunions, they definitely can aggravate them by shoving your toes into a constricted area and forcing your big toe out of its natural position. If you notice an unsightly protrusion near the base of your big toe, you probably have a bunion. This bulge can be very painful and require a trip to the podiatrist. For mild conditions, the podiatrist may recommend that you wear orthotics shoe inserts. If your problem is more severe, the podiatrist may suggest that you undergo surgery to correct the problem. And, believe it or not, this is a procedure that could keep you off your feet for several weeks. 
  • Hammertoes. This is a condition in which either your second, third, fourth or fifth toe is forced into an unnatural bent position at the middle joint. Tight shoes and heels can aggravate this sometimes painful condition. If you develop a painful hammertoe, you should see a podiatrist, who could prescribe shoe inserts or pads that can reposition your toe. If the condition worsens or is causing you pain, your doctor may recommend surgery to release the tendon that is keeping your toe from lying flat. 

Sheepskin Boots

So if high-heeled shoes are bad, then those super popular sheepskin boots with the very flat soles must be great for your feet, right? Wrong. These boots, as well as other flat-soled shoes, can cause:

  • Plantar Fasciitis. If you have pain on the bottom of your foot, especially near the heel bone, that is worse in the morning, you could have plantar fasciitis.  Unfortunately sheepskin boots with their flat soles offer very little arch support, which could aggravate this condition. If you believe you have plantar fasciitis, you should see a podiatrist. Treatment may include orthotics, pain relievers and stretching exercise. 
  • Fungus. If you wear your sheepskin boots without socks, you could develop a fungal infection. The sheepskin can cause your feet to sweat, which then creates a warm, dark, wet environment in your boot that is the perfect breeding ground for fungus. To prevent this problem, doctors recommend that you wear socks with your sheepskin boots. 

For more tips on caring for your feet, visit websites like


Actresses on the red carpet swear by their shapewear. It is what keeps their tummies and other body parts from bulging and jiggling. Unfortunately, tight shapewear should not be worn constantly because it could cause the wearer to: 

  • Feel lightheaded. Tight shapewear could compress your chest, making it hard for you to breathe naturally. 
  • Nerve damage. If your shapewear is too tight, it could actually compress nerves, which could lead to numbness, tingling or pain. 
  • Acid reflux. Because shapewear can press on your stomach, it can cause acid to be forced up into your esophagus. 

Fortunately, these symptoms are usually temporary and can be relieved by limiting the amount of time you wear your shapewear.  

While pain is sometimes the price you pay for being a fashionista, it is important to listen to your body. If your body is really protesting against a certain item in your wardrobe, you may need to give it up. Otherwise, you could end up being in constant pain or having to go under the knife.