Get Happy Feet by Using a “Shoedule”

Hey, everyone!  How many of you have ever changed an entire outfit because the shoes you wanted to wear with it were so uncomfortable?  That would be me, for sure.  I have often “discovered” the most stylish and “comfortable “ shoe at the mall or online and instantly begun planning outfits around them.  Little did I know that that beautiful, innocent-looking pair of shoes would anger my feet by day’s end, prompting me to toss them into the darkest corner of my closet.  But now that I have learned about creating a “shoedule”- a schedule for wearing shoes- I don’t have to leave my most stylish shoes n the corner for good.  I can have happy feet by using a shoedule.  Have you ever banished a stylish pair of shoes because they made your feet unhappy?

Why do you need a shoedule?

Dr. Rubina Tahir, a Board Certified Chiropractor and host of the RX segment of My New Philly, a Philadelphia news show, created the shoedule concept to help women better utilize their diverse shoe collections while keeping their health in check.  Dr. Tahir receives countless complaints from her chiropractic patients about bunion, heel, and arch pain.  Way too may women feel pressure these days to trek to work, dinner, and parties in 3-inch heels.  By giving your shoes (and your tootsies) a schedule, you minimize the development of painful and annoying ailments, such as foot and low back pain, bunions, hammer toes, callouses, corns… the list continues!  (See one of Dr. Tahir’s videos about back pain, along with other health tips HERE. )  Furthermore, you can still achieve the height you desire with wedges and platforms… Every type of inch counts!  Read on to learn how to devise your own shoedule and gain awareness of the potential health hazards of wearing certain types of shoes too often.

HIGH HEELS (2.5-4 inches): Wear 1-2 times per week.

shoedule-high-heels

If you’re a city gal, you likely walk to work in heels a lot, and then work in them all day.  That’s no walk in the park! (Even if you are, in fact, walking through a park.)  Heels exaggerate the arches in your feet, push your feet and body forward, and force the spine to work overtime to keep the body balanced.  Why does such a flattering shoe have to yield such debilitating side effects?  Sure, they help your body appear longer and leaner, while building muscle and endurance, but they are hazardous in the long run.  You risk potentially developing back and knee pain and some very unattractive (and painful) hammer toes and bunions.  And those ailments will probably prevent you from wearing high heels if you do develop them.  Keep in mind:  The higher the heel height, the higher the risk, so if you frequently wear stilettos or heels 4 inches or higher, limit use to once a week.

KITTEN HEELS (1.5-2 inches): Wear 2-3 times per week.

shoedule-kitten-heels

This heel height is easiest for me to maneuver with my long, narrow feet and lanky body.  I imagine most women probably agree that a kitten heel is more manageable than a stiletto!  They are less difficult to balance in than high heels while still strengthen your calves.  Plus, they pretty much go with any outfit!  Kitten heels are your safest bet if you must wear heels.

WEDGES AND PLATFORMS: Wear 2-3 times per week if lower than 3 inches. If 3 inches or higher, limit to once a week.

shoedule-wedges

Not all wedges and platforms are created equal, so you have to watch their height.  The ones on my feet above are quite high, so I would only be able to wear these once a week.  High wedges make your body work overtime to balance, just like high heels do, so your back and your feet will stay happy if you limit wear to once a week.  If your wedges and platforms are more on the lower side, wear them no more than 3 times a week.

FLATS, FLIP FLOPS, AND OTHER SHOES WITH LOW ARCH SUPPORT: Wear 3-4 times per week.

These may feel comfortable to you at first, and they may not even bother you at all, but lack of arch support can cause arch pain and bunions.  So you definitely don’t want to wear these types of shoes every single day.  Furthermore, without arch support, your posture may begin to suffer, and cause some surprising back pain.  If you must wear flip flops all summer or because you live in a very warm climate, try to find versions that boast arch support.  Hate anything other than flats?  Try placing supportive insoles inside your flats to up the arch support.

RIDING BOOTS: Wear 3-4 times per week if the heel is about an inch. Limit use to 1-2 times per week if heel is higher.

get happy feet by using a shoedule

During the cold months, you probably find yourself in these fashionable fall and winter staples.  But even though the heels may be low, boots may lack arch support and squeeze your toes together at the top.

Bottom line:  Always be mindful of the heel height.  The safest heel is 1 inch.  Also, understand that flats are not always best because some severely lack arch support.  Rotating your shoes by designating them a schedule will help keep foot and back ailments at bay, and you might even discover chic outfits in your closet you would have never known to exist if it weren’t for your shoedule.  First choose your shoe, then pull items from your wardrobe.  Your feet will thank you!  Think moderation, and you will establish preventative health choices for your back and feet.  Cheers to your soon-to-be happy feet!

That’s what’s up in preventative health (and fashion) for now.   Do you think you will try a shoedule?   Please see the links below for Dr. Tahir, and follow her for other health tips.  

Dr. Rubina Tahir:
Twitter: @chirorubina
Instagram: Dr_Rubina
Facebook: DrRubinaTahir
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Let’s stay in touch. 

10 thoughts on “Get Happy Feet by Using a “Shoedule”

  1. Wow i love this post! luckily i have a high tolerance for heels/wedges but then again i spend half my day working from a desk- walking around the city is another story(; I know shoes fit everyone different but as a suggestion Nine West (to me at least) are the most comfortable heels and they have super cute 1.5-2″ heels!

    xo, JJ

  2. I love this! I would wear heels everyday if I could. Currently I’m at stay away home mom, but 2 years ago when I was working full time I did wear heels everyday and I’m sure it was awful for my feet. This is a good way to consciously think about what you’re putting on your feet.

What are your thoughts?