The shoes aren't cheap, but can you put a price on foot comfort? As founder and CEO of Thesis Couture, Dolly Singh is making it her mission to re-think the design of stiletto shoes so that they aren’t little torture devices for women’s feet. And she’s enlisted the help of a former NASA astronaut to get women walking more comfortably in their shoes!

The way stilettos are currently designed, Singh explains, is the reason they put so much pressure on your joints, shorten your Achilles and lead to foot and back pain, over time. Basically, because your entire body weight is being supported by the tiny point of a stiletto heel (a stiff, metal rod called a shank), its strike force is sizeable, causing lots of damage.

Singh wants to help take the pressure off in a few different ways: First, she plans to replace the metal shank with a support stem made of less rigid materials. By mixing in other polymers into both the shank and the body of the show, she believes that body weight will be more evenly distributed, and feet will hurt less. She also plans to redesign the shoe’s aerodynamics (the way air flows around the shoe body—that’s where the astronaut comes in) and the ergonomics (the efficiency of the shoe’s use of energy and space) to make for smoother walks all around.

The heels cost $925 a pop, so you’ll have to decide whether the high-tech shoes are worth the price or you’d rather save a couple of hundred bucks and stick to sneaks, instead. I know what choice I’d make, but the shoe is in your court on this one.
Dr. Andrew Schneider
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A podiatrist and foot surgeon in Houston, TX.