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  • The CORE Institute’s Five Tips for Safe High Heel Wearing at The WM Phoenix Open

    Published on January 23, 2020

    Scottsdale, AZ : The CORE Institute, (CORE),  Arizona’s largest and most respected orthopedic practice, wants everyone to have a safe and celebratory time at The Waste Management Phoenix Open (WM Phoenix Open). Dressing-up is part of the tradition, that means keeping the body healthy while walking around the green in those fancy heels at the largest party in Arizona disguised as a golf tournament.

    As a general rule, the higher the heel the greater the risk the shoe poses. But hazards of wearing heels to the WM Phoenix Open, begin at a person’s foundation, the foot and ankle, and can proceed through the lower back.

    “Foot fashion alters body position and stresses not only your foundation but also joints in the lower extremity and spine,” says Dr. Melissa Galli, a foot and ankle surgeon at The CORE Institute. “High heels have been shown to increase pressures in the knee, one factor known to contribute to knee pain. Additionally, there is the possibility of the high-heel lodging into the grass which can lead to a sprained or broken ankle.”

    Dr. Galli explains that a heeled foot throws the body’s center of mass forward. With the front of the foot downward, the strong tendon behind the ankle, the Achilles, shortens and tightens in direct relation to the height of the heel.  This causes inflammation known as Achilles tendonitis, which can make walking barefoot, exercising in sneakers, and wearing flats painful.

    To avoid injury, it is best to stay safe and wear platforms or flats when walking around the WM Phoenix Open and use your high heels for getting autographs from the pros in a more controlled environment. However, below are five ways to strike a balance between golf course “par-tee” fashion and foot health:

    • Before buying a pair of heels, try bending the shoe side to side and folding it in half; forego the shoe that gives too much and opt for a sturdy style.
    • Platforms are a more favorable golf party strategy as they minimize the stresses seen in a steep-angled shoe. To minimize heel hazards, choose a sturdy, nicely padded style with a wide toe box and a heel height of 2 inches or less.
    • Prior to wearing heels or platforms to the WM Phoenix Open, break them in by putting on thick socks and wearing them around the house for 2-3 hours a day for a few days before the event. This will break them in and help prevent blisters.
    • While walking around the 16th Hole or enjoying the party at the Crow’s Nest, sit down often to relieve pressure on the toes and the balls of the feet. Also, bring a pair of ballet flats just in case the pain is too much.
    • After the event, do arch stretches by pointing and flexing the toes towards and away from the body, for a few seconds at a time. For the next few days, following the event, wear supportive, comfortable shoes.

    Dr. Galli adds, “While heightened dress shoes may make that outfit a bit more attractive, the risk of injury this puts on your body is much less attractive. The golfers should be the main attraction, not someone tumbling into a sand-trap because they wore the wrong shoes.”

    If there is still pain or numbness in the feet a few days later, call a foot and ankle provider or make an appointment at The Core Institute to get a professional examination to ensure there is no serious damage.