Sep 09th, 2014 / Nicki Chick
Thanks to Hayley’s advice we can now all wear high heels without suffering! 5th September 2014
Follow in the footsteps of Kate Middleton and make wearing high heels look effortless THE DUCHESS of Cambridge has a knack of making sky-high stilettos appear easy to walk in and pain free.
Here, physiotherapist Hayley Jasper reveals how you to can be well-heeled The Duchess of Cambridge always looks poised and elegant in her high heels The retro pool slider and vintage trainers have been this summer’s shoe du jour, however one item of footwear that never goes out of fashion is the high heel. The Duchess of Cambridge is famed for her iconic nude LK Bennett heels, while the start of London Fashion Week next Friday promises to see an array of stylish folk out in force in their eight-inch stilettos. However, while that pair of Jimmy Choos or Louboutins looks fabulous, they can be painful and make walking properly a struggle. A recent NHS report even revealed that the cost to the NHS of foot injuries related to wearing high heels is £29 million per year.
Here, Hayley Jasper, a physiotherapist from Six Physio, explains how to wear your favourite shoes with ease. Kate carefully navigates her way down the stairs in her iconic LK Bennett nude heels.
STRETCH YOUR SOLES
When you’re at a party, wedding or in Kate Middleton’s case a royal engagement, it’s not uncommon to be stuck standing up in your heels for hours on end. Therefore, it’s important to revive your feet every so often to avoid cramp and troublesome sores. Hayley recommends performing these exercises to keep your tootsies in tip-top condition.
“Remove your shoes and place your feet flat on the floor,” she says. “Keeping the ball of the foot down, lift all your toes and stretch them apart as much as you can. “One by one replace the toes down in turn, starting from the little toe and softly grip the floor with them.”
Once you have mastered that move then: “Point your foot down to the floor, extend the big toe while curling the four other toes under the foot. “Gently press down through the foot as if you are trying to make a ‘thumbprint’ with your big toe and hold for 30 seconds. This may be uncomfortable but should not cause pain.
“Reverse this stretch and curl the big toe under and stretch the other four toes out in front.”
Kate takes the weight off and rests her weary feet
MASTER THE PERFECT WALK
Kate Middleton makes walking down stairs in her heels seem like a breeze, however for some of us just strolling down a flat path in wedges can be a challenge.
Hayley says: “Elevation of the ankles shifts our centre of gravity forwards at the hips and increases the ‘sway’ of the spine and can put extra pressure on the lower vertebrae of the spine.” To avoid this she says it’s important to improve stance and gait. “Pulling in on your abdominals, tucking the tail bone under and lifting your chest bone a little will bring your centre of gravity back to midline.”
You should feel the weight shift from your toes back into the weight bearing joints in the ankle. Hayley adds: “This not only takes the pressure off the toe joints to prevent the ball of the foot burning but means as you step forwards you should now be more easily to achieve ‘heel strike’.”
REST YOUR WEARY FEET
Unless you are a heel-wearing pro, you’ll eventually have to sit down to rest your tired feet. Even the duchess has had to pull up a chair from time-to-time.
Hayley says: “Relieve stiffness in the toe joints by placing a foot on the opposite knee and slide your fingers between each of your toes and place the thumb on the ball of the big toe. “Gently flex the toes downwards while applying gentle upward pressure through the base of the big toe. “Hold for a few seconds, then reverse, stretching the toes upwards and this time with the thumb applying pressure at the tip of the big toe. Repeat a few times.”
She says it’s also a good idea to relieve tightness in the arch of the foot to avoid injury. “Cup and grasp your heel firmly with one hand and with the other take the big toe between your thumb and first two fingers. “Gently stretch them away from one another in a lengthening motion and with the stretch applied rotate your toe back and forth.
“Repeat this for each toe working out towards the little toe, and then back in again.”