To date, I haven’t heard of a woman who hasn’t complained about ball of the foot pain after wearing high heels for an extended period of time. We all have experienced some pain at some point. While this blog post is not intended to cure, treat, or diagnose any type of foot pain or problem, I am thrilled to explain and illustrate the relevancy of wearing high heels with ball of the foot pain and provide you some helpful resources to help this pain while in high heels.
Here we go!
Why do high heels cause ball of the foot pain?
All high heels have one thing in common: they have a heel and some sort of a pitch (the slope or decline part of the shoe). Whenever you walk in heels, you are walking at a decline, putting most of your weight on the bottom-most part of your feet, the balls of your feet. It’s almost as if walking on heels could be thought of as walking on your tippy toes. Have you thought about this?
Think of this: Imagine the balls of your feet carrying 130 lbs of weight (less or more depending on your weight), and for every step you take, your feet are loading your weight to the left and to the right repetitiously as you walk. Because you carry most of your body weight on the balls of your feet when on heels, at some point you will experience the balls of your feet hurting or even swelling up.
Types of Ball of the Foot Pain
There are two common ball of the foot pains women who wear high heels often complain about:
1. Metatarsalgia – This is a painful type of inflammation that occurs in the ball of the foot as a result of repeated pressure on the metatarsal bone(s), which are the bones in the ball of the foot.
2. Morton’s Neuroma – This is a forefoot condition which is due to the irritation of the nerves running in between the sole of the foot and into toes 2 and 3 or 3 and 4. It is common to have nerve-type symptoms, which can include numbness or a burning sensation extending into the toes.
Solutions to Ball of the Foot Pain for High Heel Wearers
Heelho’s Patent Pending Shoe Pad Inserts
This special high heel insert contains a depression precisely for the 2nd/3rd metatarsals: the area of the ball of the foot which hurts the most when on heels. This hollow indentation is precisely engineered to fit under these critical bones to offload the pressure and redistribute weight for a much longer lasting comfort.
Sasha’s Rating: ★★★★★
Pros: This is the only ball of the foot insert I would recommend in the market, hands down. I recommend Heelho highly because of its design. It is specifically designed to keep your weight off the 2nd/3rd metatarsals, resulting in a more pleasant high heel experience. For this insert to function properly, proper placement on your shoe is important. Make sure you follow the instructions on the packaging. If you suffer from ball of the foot pain, need a quick fix for all your heels, and appreciate not having your feet sliding forward (added bonus), Heelho does the job!!!
Cons: This is a short term solution as the memory foam flattens with time. I would recommend you purchase a pack of three or more and replenish whenever possible. The product is priced relatively higher than other ball of the foot inserts, but it does what it says. It’s by far the best high heel insert money can buy. Learn More.
Orthopedic Insoles: Roccamore’s Built-in Insole Technology
Roccamore Shoes are made with a built-in orthopedic insole. Aside from the many benefits this insole provides, it is made with a strategic raised cushion to lift up the middle bone in the metatarsals to help distribute the weight on the ball of the foot and minimize the ball of the foot pain, all in one shoe!
Sasha’s Rating: ★★★★★
Pros: You have a double whammy with Roccamore Shoes! They are gorgeous and comfortable at the same time. They are reasonably priced considering they are handcrafted in Italy and comprised of state of the art comfort technology. These shoes fit like a glove and comfort cradle your feet in such a specific way your feet feel supported every step you take. You can walk in these shoes for hours on end and feel comfortable on the balls of your feet.
Cons: Roccamore Shoes come in EU whole sizes only. But this shouldn’t deter anyone from trying on a pair if you are in-between a size. You might just realize going a half size up or down to a whole size is your true Roccamore size. You don’t know it until you try it! In fact, I had the queen of all high heels, my mother Jasmine, try on a Vanessa size 39 EU (she is a size 8 US), and it fit her perfectly. Give yourself a try on these heels, and you’ll find out how supportive they are on the balls of the feet.
Ilene Berg’s Patented Design Comfort System Technology
Ilene Berg Shoes are German engineered with a Patented Technology which supports the entire foot. These shoes are made with a 5mm ultra plushed footbed to comfort the balls of your feet. These shoes are also built with a pneumatic system- an air compression system, so every time you take a step, you step on the air-filled system first before your feet make impact with the ground. This, specifically, maximizes the ball of the foot’s shock absorption, keeping you on your feet longer and happier.
Sasha’s Rating: ★★★★★
Pros: With Ilene Berg Shoes you get the stiletto look without incurring the pain of wearing a stiletto, and this is unheard of. The technology in this stiletto bootie is hidden so well you can’t see it at all. This bootie is a relatively lighter heel than the ones you’d purchase at a department store. The stiletto heel is screwed in, which means your heel will be secure and will not wobble. This is a perfect heel for women with wide feet and bunions.
Cons: You may have to add individual holes to the strap in order to buckle in successfully, if your ankles are a bit on the wider side. Other than this, this bootie is a catch! It is a rather comfortable stiletto bootie, and this is uncommon to come across. Learn More.
Do you have any high heel questions or concerns? Ask Sasha! This segment on Stiletto Charm allows you to get feedback on anything Heels!
Do you have questions on a particular pair of shoes on Stiletto Charm before making a purchase?
Do you have questions on:
– A particular pair of heels on Stiletto Charm
– Sizing, Fit, or Comfort System on a particular pair of heels
– What type of high heel shoe is best for your foot type
– High arched feet
– Wide feet recommendations
– Heels for sweaty feet
– Bunions and the best high heel recommendation for this condition
Ask me anything, and I will be happy to guide you on your next purchase of Sexy & Comfortable Heels.
P.S. – I plan to keep my eyes and ears wide open to add more recommendations to this list of “High Heel Solutions for Ball of the Foot Pain.” So, be on the lookout for parts 2 and 3 of this article in the near future!
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— Sasha Charms