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By Dr. Hillary Brenner

Want to avoid “shoeacide” when wearing high heels? Dr. Hillary Brenner shares smart tips to keep your feet healthy (and pain-free) when wearing sky-high footwear:

Pick the right shoe
To make sure the high heel is a stable shoe, perform the following test:

  1. Make sure the toe box bends in a upward motion. If you can bend the shoe in half like a burrito, it is not a supportive shoe.
  2. Make sure there is plenty of arch support and cushion in the toe box.
  3. The heel should be wide or chunky.
  4. Try to stay with a heel height 2-inches or lower, look for high heels that have straps around the ankle and a platform toe box.

Exercise
Perform daily simple strengthening and pain preventing moves such as: 

  • Towel scrunches: Sit barefoot on the ground or in a chair with your feet placed on top of a towel. Use your toes to keep scrunching the towel toward you for about 30 seconds — repeat two or three times.
  • Classic calf stretch: Place your hands on a wall with your left foot behind you. Gently lunge forward with your right leg, while keeping your left leg straight and your left heel on the ground. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch legs. Repeat three times. 

 Take care

  1. Twice a week, soak your feet for 10 minutes in Epsom salt. Epsom salt contains magnesium which will help decrease swelling and soreness.
  2. Apply a rich hydrating cream such as Shea butter two times a day to your feet. The more you hydrate the skin, the less chance of getting blisters and cuts from the shoes.
  3. Place inserts in your shoes which will properly place your skeletal system in a neutral alignment and aid in shock absorption. Inserts can range from custom made all the way to foot petals.
  4. When wearing high heels, only wear them for up to 2-3 hours at a time. When you're sitting down, the clock stops. The key word is moderation.
High-heeled shoes — a signifier of sexiness, femininity, glamour and status through the ages — are on display at the Brooklyn Museum.