*By Sam Belyea a.k.a. The Foot Whisperer
With the media, doctors, and nature-lovers always bashing high heels for being the ‘wrong shoe’ to wear, let me explain the physical and mental/emotional benefits of this type of shoe:
1. Strengthening the Arch and Ankle
Ever think of heels at toning? Wonder why your calves look so great in them? The arch of the foot is controlled by muscles which can actually get lazy, sluggish, and collapse over time. One of the un-intended benefits of heels is that they throw your weight intentionally off-balance just enough so they act as a major toner for the muscles of the feet when worn in short bursts. Think of it as an exercise for your feet. A problem occurs when you over-exercise and then you fatigue these muscles and they collapse even more than when you started. If you spend all day at the gym you’re going to be pretty sore the next day, but that doesn’t mean you avoid the gym all together like the plague.
2. Keeping you ‘On Your Toes’
Literally, that’s what heels do. They shift your weight from your center of security (heels) and put it all towards your emotional foot center (ball of the foot) and mental foot center (toes). Mentally and emotionally, heels keep you alert and focused. To experience this first hand, take a pair of flat shoes and a pair of heels; try them both on and walk around for a few seconds in each pair. Monitor the change in your thoughts and feelings while in each shoe. Do the heels make you want to go tackle a project or get things done while the flats make you want to go for a stroll and just lay around? How does each pair affect your current mental/emotional state? Observe the changes in your thoughts and feelings throughout the week based on the shoes you’re wearing.
Heels are not for everyone, just like flats are not for everyone. If you gravitate towards heels you are more of a go-getter, people-pleaser, and do-it-yourself-er (based on how high the heel actually is). The flatter the shoe, the more laid back you are. Ideally, a good mix and balance needs to happen.
The purpose of this post is to hopefully shed some light on how heels are useful under the right circumstances. Too much of a good thing will always leave you feeling bad, but strive to understand how to really walk a mile in your own shoes instead of wearing what just looks good or feels good.
Today’s Lesson: “High heels aren’t all that bad.”