For as long as I’ve been a Houston podiatrist, I’ve been warning women that wearing high heels can have a seriously negative impact on their foot health. Now, I’m sure some of you have laughed off my warnings and insisted that wearing stiletto heels just isn’t a big deal.

If that’s the case, I ask you, why did this new product, called Still StandingDon't numb the pain: take heels off when your feet hurt, need to hit the market? Still Standing spray, according to its manufacturers, is intended to combat, “the agony that high-heel-wearing women have suffered over the years.” Containing Arnica, Aloe and Ilex, the spray is supposed to stop high-heel pain before it starts by preventing inflammation and numbing feet slightly to prevent pain. The spray sounds like a life-saver for Manolo addicts, but the manufacturers do include a cautionary warning: the spray can’t prevent or help with blisters and can’t keep you comfortable if your shoes hurt or pinch you as soon as you put them on.

Well, there you have it people; even a spray intended to make wearing high-heels more bearable can’t counteract all the problems that the shoes may cause you to experience. Over time, given repeated wearing, high-heels can cause women to experience many different foot ailments, including Morton’s neuromas (inflammation of the nerve in the ball of your foot); hammertoes (when your toes start to buckle and hit the roof of your shoe);  stress fractures (small breaks caused by repeated impact injuries); and bunions (abnormal bone growth on the side of the foot which can be made worse by wearing heels).

Viewed in this context, a spray like Still Standing is actually pretty dangerous; it numbs you to the pain of wearing high-heels, lulling you into a false sense of comfort as you wear your shoes more frequently and for longer periods of time, all the while damaging your feet. Don’t resort to numbing spray so you can wear shoes that are bad for your feet; instead, choose to limit high-heel wearing and, when you do wear these shoes, choose more sensible options (wider, shorter heels). You can choose to ignore me now, but I guarantee if you do, you’ll be seeing me in person at Tanglewood Foot Specialists to treat your foot pain.

Dr. Andrew Schneider
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A podiatrist and foot surgeon in Houston, TX.
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