Are Your Shoes Killing You?
How to break the bad-shoe cycle
Obviously, there has to be a better way. Dr. Kerrigan argues that high heels are so dangerous they should never be worn, not even for a few hours at a time. But since it's unlikely that we'll all decide en masse to trash the stilettos for good, we'll have to find a middle road. That's why most experts say it's OK to wear them in moderation. While there's no one-size-fits-all formula for how much time in heels is safe, let common sense be your guide. "It's like a diet," Brenner says. "If a slice of pizza is 500 calories, you can only have one; if your shoes are 5 inches high, you can only wear them for an hour." In addition to limiting your time in heels, don't skimp on the shoes you wear in between.
You can alleviate some of the problems caused by heels with a few simple stretchesgo to Health.com/high-heels-stretches for details. But ultimately, you may need to make some tough choices about how you spend your fashion dollars. "There are limitations to what our bones and joints can take," says Dr. Baumhauer. "You want to make sure your shoes are giving your body the best support for the long haul."