Stiletto Workout – Contributing to hammertoes?

You may have come across a few articles or news stories discussing the latest exercise program being offered at a New York City gym.  Their Stiletto workout is designed to be performed in high heeled shoes and promises great results.  While we have often cautioned against the dangers of high heels, the controlled environment of a gym may be a safer place to wear them than out on the town in Austin.  Moderation is key when it comes to high heels…..and here is why.


Any type of shoe can compliment or alter the mechanics of your foot. When it comes to high heels, the calf muscles become shortened.  Over time this continued shortening causes other muscles groups to overcompensate.   This type of action contributes to the formation of foot deformities including bunions and hammertoes.   Most foot deformities are a result of inherited foot mechanics that alter proper foot function. Any shoe that gives one muscle group advantage over another, like high heels, can aggravate the foot mechanics. For this reason, anyone can develop hammertoes. 


Hammer toes, or hammer digits, are a result of the tendons creating contractions of the toes.  A hammertoe can be both uncomfortable and unsightly.  Depending on which tendon shortens, the toes can become contracted at different points.  This is most often visualized by where the corn forms.  These painful skin formations rarely resolve without addressing the underlying bony deformity. A thorough evaluation by your Austin podiatrist will provide an accurate diagnosis of the type of hammertoe you have.


Hammertoes that can be straightened out are flexible.  Those that have been present for a long time and cannot be straightened out are rigid.  When placed in accommodative shoes that prevent rubbing and irritation, either type may not bother you. It is when these deformities become painful that your podiatrist may suggest surgical correction. Our new Three Lakes Surgical Center is equipped to accommodate these surgies and get you home the same day.  It doesn’t matter if the surgery requires implants or is a simple tendonplasty our staff is ready to make sure you have positive experience!


 Be careful out there in those high heels and keep Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists in mind when your feet start to hurt.  Until next time, keep those feet happy and healthy Austin! 

Dr. Craig H. Thomajan, DPM, FACFAS, FAENS
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Founder and Managing Partner of Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists
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