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Running, High Heels, and Foot Pain

By Dr. Jason Gold, DPM, FACFAS | Dr. Jodi Schoenhaus DPM, RPhs, FACFAS

Running is a great form of cardiovascular exercise that can help you to stay in shape. Despite the high impact nature of this exercise, your feet can handle regular running without much discomfort so long as you are wearing proper running shoes. Running shoes are available with extra cushioning, high arch support, and even featherweight shoes that do not add any excess weight during your run. However, while paying attention to what type of shoes you are wearing during your run is beneficial, it is important to be conscious of your footwear throughout the rest of the day as high heels and other types of footwear can result in foot pain, if not properly fitted.

Heels can contribute to the development of a variety of foot problems. Wearing heels is the leading cause of ingrown toenails in women. They also squeeze and constrict the foot due to the nature of their design. The heel at the back of the shoe creates a slope that forces all of the weight towards the front of the shoe. All of that weight damages the foot, especially the toes and front corners of the foot. This can cause bunions and hammertoes to form.

High Heels make runners much more sensitive to impact and foot pain. When regular heel-wearers run, the pain is intensified because they have already put so much stress on the feet. Their muscles become more tightened after wearing heels and this increases the risk for muscle cramps and strains.

Other health problems that can result from the regular wearing of heels include:

  • Hip pain
  • Lower back pain
  • Joint pain
  • Calluses
  • Sprained ankles

If you are trying to run more but are experiencing pain, then try finding different shoes to wear instead of heels. Flats, sandals, and even wedges can all shift the weight of your body to a more evenly distributed stance.

Dr. Jason Gold, DPM, FACFAS

Known for his expertise in thorough diagnostic testing and a steady surgical hand, Jason M. Gold, DPM, is a leader in modern foot and ankle care and sports medicine. He’s one of a handful of doctors who’s board certified in foot and ankle surgery in Palm Beach County. Dr. Jason Gold cares for patients at Foot, Ankle & Leg Vein Center, a state-of-the-art practice with locations in Boca Raton and Boynton, Florida.

Dr. Jodi Schoenhaus , DPM - Podiatrist in Boca Raton, FL

Dr. Jodi Schoenhaus DPM, RPhs, FACFAS

Dr. Jodi Schoenhaus is a foot, ankle, and leg vein specialist practicing in South Florida. She is considered a leader and innovator for various procedures in her field, including fat pad and vein care. Dr. Schoenhaus grew up in southern New Jersey and she considers herself a true Philly girl. After graduating from the University of Michigan, having studied kinesiology and human movement, she went to Temple University in Philadelphia where she got her doctorate.

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