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Racing in Stilettos – Job Security for Podiatrists

Russia has been promoting a new sport: the stiletto heels sprint.  Although I’d heard of this a couple of months ago, I just noticed some video footage on Yahoo! In this particular race, over 200 women turned out to run 1 kilometer (about 2/3 of a mile) in heels that are at least 3.5 inches high.

It is well known that regularly wearing high heels can result in foot deformities such as bunions and corns.  And yet women continue to wear them as they never seem to go out of fashion.  If you’re unwilling to give up those heels, but would like to avoid having feet that look like this, here are some tips for you:

1.  Minimize the distance you walk in heels.  Carry your shoes to work with you and wear flats or sneakers during most of your walking.

2.  Wear shoes that are wide in the toe box and do not squeeze your toes together.

3.  Put metatarsal pads in your high heeled shoes, to keep your foot from sliding forward  (especially if they are closed-toe).

4.  Don’t wait too long to see a rehabilitation medicine specialist or podiatrist if you think you’re developing a bunion.  Corrective action should be taken as early as possible.

5.  If you’re working at your desk, remember to slip off your shoes to reduce the pressure on your toes.  Every lit bit helps when it comes to reducing toe joint stress.  If your relatives have bunions, you may be at higher risk for developing them too.

As for those Russian women who race in their stilettos, all I can say is that they’ll be keeping the rehab docs, orthopedists and podiatrists in business!This post originally appeared on Dr. Val’s blog at

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