“Are we really feeling so badly about who we are that we have to pay for fashion with our health?”- Katy Bowman biomechanical scientist and author of Whole Body Barefoot: Transitioning Well to Minimal Footwear
I know, I know it’s hard to give up the heels because you feel beautiful and powerful in them. Guess what you’re already beautiful and powerful! Honestly, I don’t know where the powerful thing came from because high heeled shoes make us vulnerable. The other day while out walking, I almost collided with a woman wearing four-inch heels. I, of course, had my barefoot ninja shoes on (see shoes below) and was able to get out of her way with the agility of a cheetah. She, on the other hand, teetered on her stilettos and almost fell on her face. Not only do elevated heels make us vulnerable to an attack or a fall, but also to osteoporosis (read how high heels can contribute to low bone density here), prolapsed organs, tilted uteri, foot, knee, hip, back, neck and pelvic floor pain and dysfunction. There’s nothing sexy about wearing adult diapers!
I gave all my high heeled shoes away to people I don’t like. Just kidding…I kept a couple of pairs ;-). Who knows, maybe someday I will wear a pair of positive heeled shoes to a wedding, or while out tango dancing. But it won’t be more than an hour or two of torture at a time and my feet will get a nice foot massage afterward.
I recently went to a friend’s place of employment to help her with her standing workstation. Four other women in the office also had standing workstations, but they wear high heeled shoes all day! PLEASE DON’T DO THIS, you’re canceling out the benefits of getting off your butt and will end up ditching the standing workstation by the end of the week complaining that it gives you back pain. It’s called denial. Sometimes it’s hard to admit that it’s the shoes you paid $200 for that are messing you up (and will end up costing you thousands of dollars in knee replacement surgery and adult diapers later).
If you have been wearing positive heeled shoes (even an inch heel) for most of your life, transition out of them slowly. This book is the place to start!
For tips on how to do Restorative Exercise™ at your standing workstation click here and here. And check out Katy Bowman’s Don’t Just Sit There program.
Listed below are some cute shoes (in my opinion) that won’t ruin your body. I know my list is small, let me know if you have a cute pair of shoes that are flat, flexible and have a toe box that won’t squeeze your toes together.
I bought these ball of the foot gel pads to wear in the heels of my barefoot or minimalist shoes for city walking. They fit in the heel perfectly and are so thin that they don’t elevate my heel. I wear them in the two pairs of shoes above. Love them!
Soft Star Adult Ballerine Flat These are really cute! Make sure you order them in wide. You may be able to fit your Correct Toes in them. They are flat and flexible.
Lems primal 2- I own a pair of these and absolutely love them. My Correct Toes™ fit nicely in them. They have the roomiest toe box I’ve ever experienced. They are zero drop, flexible and light.
I have these Merrells and kind of feel like a cheetah when I wear them. Wide toe box, flexible, zero drop. They are barefoot shoes, so there isn’t a padded insert. They feel great on the trails, but may need a metatarsal pad to put in the heel if you are doing a lot of city walking.
See my updated Winter Boot list HERE.