This April, one woman hopes to change all that. Natalie Eckert, a 37-year-old mother-of-five, is currently in training for the London marathon. Which she plans to complete (in 4 hours or less, by the way!) wearing shoes with a minimum heel height of at least 3 inches.
Why, you might ask (as I certainly did!): she hopes to set a world record while also raising funds for charity. She has reached out to high-heel makers like Jimmy Choo or Victoria Beckham to sponsor her run, as well as band-aid manufacturers, since she fully acknowledges that she’s “Going to have some huge blisters.”
Honestly, blisters should be the least of Eckert’s worries, if you ask this Houston podiatrist. Walking in high-heels puts tons of pressure on your feet and ankles; running marathons puts you at risk of foot and ankle injury from the strain on your body. Now imagine putting the two of them together: I’m getting chilling visions of sprains, stress fractures and inflamed Achilles tendons—and that’s just the first problems that come to mind.
Then there’s the matter of the heel height itself—3 inches is sort of that magic cutoff point when it comes to stilettos. Stay below it, and you’re not doing too much damage to your feet, especially if you limit the amount of time spent in the shoes. Go above it, however, and you’re looking at all kinds of problems, even with normal (i.e. not running a marathon) conditions.
Listen, I wish this woman the best of luck and hope all goes well for her (at least she’s mixing up her training regimen, running just two days a week and kickboxing the other three days.) I’m just skeptical about her ability to emerge from this endeavor injury free.
Do you have concerns about your running health or want some help getting past a current running injury? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Andrew Schneider today for a comprehensive evaluation.