Monday, November 16, 2009

Platforms - Are They Better Than Heels??

I just answered a post on which asked this exact question. The answer is yes, and no.

Platform shoes do give you height without some of the problems of heels, but platform shoes have their own set of problems. The human foot is meant to go through a specific pattern of walking called the gait cycle. Shoes should allow normal gait unless there is a specific reason not to allow normal gait.

Normal gait includes the foot bending at the ball of the foot to allow propulsion of the body forward. The toes work in conjunction with the rest of the foot to stabilize while moving forward. Many people with arthritis find that normal propulsion is painful if their joints at the ball of the foot are arthritic. For these people, we recommend shoes that limit motion in that area.

Most of us do not have significant arthritis and have no reason to not allow that normal motion. Any shoe that does not bend at the ball of the foot does not allow normal motion. Most platform shoes fall into this category.

Platform shoes that are made of rigid materials stop the foot from its regular function and force the tendons and muscles to work abnormally. This can cause some muscles to be over used and others to be under used. Tendon pain, inflammation and irritation can occur if this is allowed for an extended length of time. If shoes worn on a regular basis cause the toes to grip the shoe excessively, hammertoes can even develop!

Listen to your feet. Foot pain is never normal and any shoes that cause pain or discomfort when wearing them or immediately afterwards should not be worn for any length of time.

1 comment:

  1. Woohoo. I do have some arthritis at the joints near the ball of the foot. I have found a high, sexy looking shoe that is also helping me. Thank you for the info.