Sunday, 16 October 2011

The heel that crippled me

I don't have much of a relationship with high-heeled shoes. I've never been a shoe junkie, I don't sigh with desire at the sight of the latest Manolo Blahnik or Jimmy Choo. In fact, I'm rather astounded I even know what these are. . .

It's flats all the way with me -- and not those dainty little ballet flats you see some people wearing around the place. I like a shoe that I can walk in, stride out in, walk home from work in if I need to. Like Birkenstocks. Yeah, Birkenstocks are my thing (and some of them are quite smart these days).

Having said that, a few years ago I acquired a pair of Wonders wedge-heels that met all my comfort criteria -- rubber soles and a comfortable fit. I could walk properly in these heels, despite the fact they were about 10cm high (which is not really very high, but . . .), and they proved ideal for work. They're a bit old now, and not as comfortable, but I still drag them out from time-to-time.

But now there's a problem. I wore these shoes last Sunday and they crippled me. As soon as I arrived home and took them off, the ball of my left foot went into shock and I could barely walk.

These are shoes I've worn loads of times and they've been the most comfortable pair of 'heels' I've ever had. I've stood in exhibition halls for days on end. I even walked 4km in them once. So I was a little astounded at my foot's reaction.

I thought maybe it was cramp, that it would settle down and all would be back to normal the next morning, but alas this was not to be the case. I still couldn't put any weight on the ball of my foot, let alone push off. I could only put weight on the outside of the foot, making walking a tad tricky.

By Wednesday it was improved, but I was still hobbling so I decided to get a podiatrist to look at it. And it turns out that I have stretched the ligament that runs beneath my second toe. Just from wearing a shoe. There was no specific incident, no moment when I thought I'd pulled something. It's completely unfathomable.

Anyway, it's apparently not a serious injury, just damned inconvenient. I've been advised to avoid wearing heels for . . . well . . . ever (within reason). But I think this is just a podiatrist's blanket rule. Nonetheless, I'm happy to comply -- I more or less do anyway.

But the fact remains that there are some times when wearing a heel is the expected thing. And now that I know what I know -- which is that by rarely wearing heels I am more prone to this kind of injury -- it's going to make me really nervous next time.


  1. Even if there are times when wearing heels is the expected thing, I don't believe that this should be done at the compromise of your health. If that is likely to be the case, then I think you just have to find yourself some cute flats, or with a smaller heel. Ptooey to social pressure I say.

  2. You're right of course, Hayley. And I'm sure it will be quite a while until I dare to brave a heel again. I rather like having the excuse of "my podiatrist forbids it"!