The concept of women subjecting their feet to pain and suffering in the name of beauty is not a new one. In fact, this practice dates back to around the 10th century when the Chinese custom of footbinding started. Footbinding, the act of breaking a young girl’s feet and curling them into shoes as small as 3 inches long, was practiced in China for centuries before it was banned in 1912. Although at first glance this practice might seem barbaric and outdated, it is not so distant from today’s reality. Women today are still cramming their feet into painful shoes that are too narrow, too crowded, with heels way too high – all in the name of beauty and style. Is there an end to this suffering in sight?
According to the New York Times, there’s a growing trend among wealthy U.S. women to surgically alter their feet to fit more easily into trendy designer shoes. These “cinderella surgeries” (as they’re commonly coined) may involve shortening toes that hang over the end of peep-toe shoes, removing bunions to fit their feet into narrow shoes, or injecting fat into the balls of their feet to provide extra cushioning for long days in heels. Although there are many different methods being employed, there’s only one objective of these cinderella surgeries: being able to slip on a shoe (that didn’t fit comfortably before) like a glass slipper.
If you’re going to subject your feet to your favorite pair of pumps, there are many non-surgical suggestions to help ease the pain.
But are these surgeries too good to be true? Many experts in the field of podiatric surgery are warning people to consider the tradeoffs and risk factors that go along with these drastic procedures. These are complex procedures accompanied by a long healing process which may bring about complications of its own. When undergoing any kind of foot surgery, you have to plan for possible side effects such as losing movement in your toes, losing sensation in your feet, or (even worse) developing chronic foot pain. Therefore, if something goes wrong with your foot (which you paid big bucks to have cosmetically altered to fit in a shoe), you may be reminded of it every single step you take. In fact, some women have suffered such extreme complications from these “cinderella surgeries” that they are unable to wear high heels ever again.
Instead of undergoing one of these major surgeries all in the name of fashion, consider other more viable options to make your high heels more comfortable. Although most foot doctors would suggest eliminating heels from your wardrobe altogether, it may not be advice many women would heed. And regardless of whether you can fit your feet into the proverbial “glass slipper,” simply wearing heels forces your entire body into an artificial posture, which can be wearing to your knees, hips, back, and even your neck and shoulders. Therefore, if you’re going to subject your feet to your favorite pair of pumps, there are many suggestions to help ease the pain. Shoe inserts and metatarsal pads are popular remedies that can be effective in cushioning the ball of your foot and acting as shock absorbers. Opt for a thicker heel to distribute the weight on your foot more evenly or a shorter heel to help relieve the pressure on the ball of the foot. In the end, although these options may not eliminate “heel ache” completely, I think we can all agree that no shoes (no matter how cute) are worth undergoing drastic surgery and potentially compromising your feet.
However, if you find yourself constantly suffering from foot pain due to your high heels, your best option for relief is to schedule an appointment with a physician at the Advanced Foot & Ankle Care Center location nearest you to help ensure a “happily ever after” for your feet.