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Stiletto Heel Therapy

Exercise can strengthen your feet and supporting muscles as well as ease some of the discomfort from wearing stilettos. It is important to stretch and exercise your calves and Achilles tendons on a daily basis, since wearing stilettos causes strain in the calves and shortens the tendons. Stretching can counteract damage and pain in your muscles and tendons.

If pain continues after exercise, make sure to see a podiatrist.

Seek Cool Relief

A chilly massage can be soothing to tired, aching feet, since cold reduces swelling. Stash a bottle of water or a golf ball in the freezer, and at the end of the day or whenever your feet hurt, roll them beneath your feet to ease the pain in stressed soles. Heat (as from a hot bath) can also loosen muscles and ease muscle strain. Dr. Scholl’s makes a combination hot/cold foot massager that’s great for non DIY-ers.

Practice Your ABC's

Warm up by point and flexing your feet, which stretches the Achilles tendon. Waggle your pointed feet back and forth. Next, “spell the alphabet” in the air with your pointed feet, which improves flexibility.

Play With Marbles

You can increase ankle and foot flexibility by picking up marbles with your toes. To strengthen both your ankles, balance on one foot while “drawing the alphabet” in the air with the other foot.

Train Those Calves

Did you know that the calves actually have two major muscles, the gastrocnemius and the soleus? The gastrocnemius is the larger muscle of the two, easily visible on the back of your lower leg; the soleus lies underneath the gastroc. The two muscles work together to press the ball of your foot downwards as you do everything from walking on your tiptoes and pressing the gas pedal to running and jumping&mdash. They also stabilize the foot and ankle and support the Achilles tendon.

The best exercise to work both muscles so they can withstand the strain of teetering on stilettos: standing calf raises. Begin by standing with your feet a pace apart. Rise up onto your tiptoes as high as possible (keeping your legs straight) and hold as long as you can. Slowly lower your heels back down and repeat.

To target your soleus muscles, bend your knees slightly during the standing calf raises. Another option is to perform slow calf raises while seated in a chair; place a weight on your knee for an extra challenge.

Stretch the Toes

When you wear stilettos, you both crush and put excessive weight on your toes. No wonder they hurt! Do some toe stretches to help your piggies bounce back. Wrap an elastic band around all five toes. Expand your toes and hold for five seconds; release. Repeat five times on each foot.

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