Ball of the foot pain and high heels

lulu68

Cathlete
Hello,

I have a question in rewards to heels and the ball of my foot. I don't wear heels often but maybe once a year (on special occasions). I notice for the past two years when trying to wear my heels I have extreme ball of the foot pain, so much I have to remove them within 5 minutes of wearing them and switch to a wedge heel. I was wondering if this might have anything to do with me doing high impact workouts for 20+ years? Also if anybody has a solution to help with situation that would be wonderful. Thanks!

Lourdes
 

Stebby

Cathlete
Hi Lourdes,

Unfortunately, I think it's a combination of overuse, age and genetics. If you are open to the idea it might be a good idea to see a podiatrist or other foot professional. Possibly custom orthotics might help. Orthotics may limit the shoe styles you can wear but at some point it may be necessary to choose foot health over cute shoes.

Stebby
 

Nanbo

Cathlete
It could be due to a condition called Morton's Toe. It is where a bone in the big toe is very short causing the toe to be shorter than the 2nd (and sometimes 3rd toe). This can cause what's know as Morton's Neuroma. Very painful. Been there. I found this link that explains it better than I can:
NW Massage Guy: Morton's Toe and location for the insert
I have a friend that has Morton's Neuroma without having the short toe. She cannot wear heels...at all :(
Hope you resolve this soon!
 
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Swimmer

Cathlete
That's a sign from above to ditch the heels! Seriously, you might want to check out Jill Miller's Quick Fix Lower Body series (you don't have to buy her therapy balls, high bounce pinkies work beautifully). While the entire DVD is wonderfully effective, there is a section on feet/ankles -- options for 5, 10, and 15 minute workouts.
I also recommend her Pain Relief DVDs (it's a two pack).
 

lulu68

Cathlete
That's a sign from above to ditch the heels! Seriously, you might want to check out Jill Miller's Quick Fix Lower Body series (you don't have to buy her therapy balls, high bounce pinkies work beautifully). While the entire DVD is wonderfully effective, there is a section on feet/ankles -- options for 5, 10, and 15 minute workouts.
I also recommend her Pain Relief DVDs (it's a two pack).

I will definitely give this a try! One of the reasons I stop doing yoga is because I had pain on the ball of my feet when doing poses that required me digging the ball of my feet into the mat. Thanks!
 

newlywed

Active Member
I had the same problem with my left foot. It got so bad that over Thankgiving last year I could barely walk. Had X-rays and saw a podiatrist who diagnosed me with sesamoiditis which is basically a type of tendinitis under the big toe. Had orthotics made and also rested it and it is better now. If I don't wear my orthotics for a few days I can feel the pain creeping back a bit. I definitely have problems after wearing heels even now. So definitely see a podiatrist and get orthotics. They help.
 

lulu68

Cathlete
Just to be clear I only experience pain when wearing heels. I only wear heels maybe once or twice a year. My first thought was that my feet are so bit up now from all pounding I do when working out, my feet are not use to wearing heels, my skin is thinner now that I'm older, all my heels that I own are old school (90's). I did buy a new pair of heels thinking maybe I needed a bigger size, but still had the same problem. Thank you all for your help!

Lourdes
 

lulu68

Cathlete
Check out the link I posted above regarding pads for the balls of your feet if you have the short big toe thingy.....

Very informative thank you! Looking at my feet all my toes are pretty even, so I don't think that's the problem. I will definitely look into a podiatrist!

Lourdes
 

melimcn

Cathlete
Seriously...not an advertisement....

I was just like you, where I could barely tolerate any pressure on the balls of my feet. 2" was about as high as I could get.

Then I found a product called Insolia in a magazine a few years back. It's basically a little insert that you put in your shoe, and it it causes you to shift your weight to your heels, instead of putting pressure on the balls of your feet. It takes some practice to position correctly, but man, they have changed my life.
I can easily walk miles in 4" heels now with no issue and no pain in my feet at all.

Google them. They're around $20 for a pack of 3 inserts. I wear them in every set of heels I have now. I can't rave about them enough!!
 

measuredoak

Cathlete
I've had pain in the ball of my foot for the last couple of years. I've seen two different podiatrists; had steroid injection shots; and an MRI with no clear diagnosis. I've used orthotics and shoe inserts and nothing seems to help. I have never worn heels. I'm not really sure where to go from here. I used to walk 3 miles a day; 6 miles on the weekend; now walking one mile is a struggle and I have to modify exercises so as not to put any pressure on the ball of my foot. I don't know the Insolia insert would work but I may give it a shot. I've tried everything else and even the docs aren't sure what the problem is.
 

Soapmaker

Cathlete
Very informative thank you! Looking at my feet all my toes are pretty even, so I don't think that's the problem. I will definitely look into a podiatrist!

Lourdes

The length of the toe is irrelevant. It is the length of the bones below the toes that matter. You need to look at the bottom of your foot and find the metatarsal bones. If the second bone is longer than the one below the big toe, you have Morton's toes which is very common. I have it and find it annoying because it reduces my balance when doing single leg exercises. It is like a tripod with one long leg.

If you have it, you could be dealing with inflammation of the capsule below the second toe (capsulitis). This happened to me 2 years ago after wearing more stylish boots with about a 1" heel during a mild winter. Wearing a 1" heel occasionally did more damage in 3 months than years of barefoot high impact. I stick to zero drop shoes or as close to zero as I can find. I vary the shoes that I wear particularly in the summer from day to day.

See these link for description.

Capsulitis of the Second Toe
Morton's toe - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I second the Jill Miller recommendations.
 

Nanbo

Cathlete
The length of the toe is irrelevant. It is the length of the bones below the toes that matter. You need to look at the bottom of your foot and find the metatarsal bones. If the second bone is longer than the one below the big toe, you have Morton's toes which is very common. I have it and find it annoying because it reduces my balance when doing single leg exercises. It is like a tripod with one long leg.

If you have it, you could be dealing with inflammation of the capsule below the second toe (capsulitis). This happened to me 2 years ago after wearing more stylish boots with about a 1" heel during a mild winter. Wearing a 1" heel occasionally did more damage in 3 months than years of barefoot high impact. I stick to zero drop shoes or as close to zero as I can find. I vary the shoes that I wear particularly in the summer from day to day.

See these link for description.

Capsulitis of the Second Toe
Morton's toe - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I second the Jill Miller recommendations.

Thank you Soapmaker for clarifying the toe issue. I wanted to go back explain that it's the toe bones "in the foot" but couldn't figure out how to word it :p. I found a great way to check for Morton's Toe in Claire Davies' Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: If you bend your first and second toes downward with your thumb while pushing up on the metatarsal heads from below with your fingers, you can make the the heads stick out and see if they are the same length. Also, under the second metatarsal there is usually a thick callous, as well as a longer web between the second and third toe. I have Morton's Toe and do not wear heels either. Now that you mention it, I also have noticed difficulty on some one legged balance moves!
 

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