5 Ways to Rock Your Wedges (and Not Break Your Ankle)

Read my top tips before wearing platform wedges like these!When I talk to patients in my podiatry practice about wearing high heels, I try to steer them towards platforms and away from stilettos. The even distribution of weight helps prevent some of the awful side effects—foot pain, bunions, hammertoes—associated with other high heels; they also leave wearers more balanced and less likely to fall.

There is, however, one type of platform that takes itself out of the safer-for-you category: the platform wedge. This shoe’s design gives you all the imbalance of a high heel, it just starts off two-to-three inches off the ground: basically, a broken or sprained ankle disaster just waiting to happen with any given misstep.

Still, given the popularity of this dangerous shoe design, I figured I’d share the top 5 tips for wearing wedge platforms without falling and killing yourself, courtesy of the good folks over at Bustle. Stay safe!

  1. Keep it Low: Don’t shoot for a 4-inch lift on your wedge; instead, shoot for a two to two-and-a-half inch rise—I’d say forever, but at least until you’ve mastered the art of wedge-walking.
  2. Size it and pad it: Fit is key in all shoes, but especially in a platform wedges where your foot is already being contorted. If your toes are hanging off the edge of the shoe or don’t even reach the end, pick another size or pair. A cushion insert for the ball of your foot, which bears the brunt of pressure in this shoe design, is also a great idea.
  3. Watch how you walk: Women in platform wedges tend to slam their foot down all at once because their heel and toe are in such close proximity. This force could result in a twisted, sprained or broken ankle—to avoid injury, push your hips forward and engage your core to continue stepping in the safer heel-toe stride.
  4. These Babies Need Backs: Back straps, that is. When you wear backless wedges, your toes curl in order to keep the shoes from slipping, throwing off your balance and causing foot cramps. A full back or back strap will help keep your toes relaxed.
  5. Get Scuffing: Smooth soled shoes are apt to make you slip. To fight the slide, rub sandpaper on the bottom of your shoes and gain some traction.
Dr. Andrew Schneider
Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.