PUBLISHED: 4:11 PM on Wednesday, February 7, 2007
Fashion conscious must weigh high-heeled hazards
Step by step
Does looking chic leave your feet screaming for help? Listen to them - not fashion pundits - for a change, said a foot and ankle expert.

Dr. John Marymont, associate professor of orthopedic surgery at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, said that wearing a two-inch heel subjects the ball of your foot to 50 percent more pressure than flat shoes.

High-heeled shoes do not usually have a foot-friendly design.

"High heels can cause bunions, hammer toes and neuromas - problems accounting for more than a billion dollars a year in healthcare costs," said Marymont.

The American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society, of which Marymont is a member, suggests the following when considering high-heeled shoes:

• Don't choose a shoe based on its marked size; sizes vary among types of shoes and brands.

• Select a shoe similar to the shape of your foot.

• Try on high heels at the end of the day when your feet are at their biggest.

• The shorter the heel, the better.

• Limit wearing high heels to special occasions.

• Make sure your heel fits comfortably within the shoe with minimal slippage.

In other words, put your best foot forward by lending an ear to those podiatric pleas. Your feet will thank you for listening.