Avoid injury this Spring Racing season with the right pair of heels

1 September 2015

It’s no secret that wearing high heels can increase risk for foot and leg injuries, and increase your chances for falls. Spring racing season often ends in shoe tragedy, aching blistered feet, back pain and other injuries. To keep the spring in your step this year at the races, make sure you find the right shoe for optimum comfort – and to avoid injury during the racing season.

Anna de Araugo, APA Sports Physiotherapist, shares her top tips for choosing the right footwear for Spring Racing season, by finding the right fit for your body.

1. Get down to earth: Ditch your stilettos and go for the smaller the better! By aiming for a heel less than 2 inches or 5 cm, your feet are less likely to be taking their revenge at the end of the day. Anything greater than 5cm will tip your foot too far forward, putting a lot of pressure on the ball of the foot. If you’re not sure how to incorporate a smaller heel into your wardrobe, were flat shoes to and from the Carnival for some much needed relief.

2. Be size wise: size certainly matters, the width of your shoe is the biggest factor to consider, as well as length. If your feet are feeling squashed and cramped at the end of the day, find a shoe that fits your foot across the ball of the foot at the widest point. Having enough room for your foot to sit properly will significantly reduce the risk of painful conditions like Morton’s neuroma and bursitis. When you’re shopping don’t compromise size for style- you will know if your foot is compromised.

3. Save the best till last: your feet at more swollen at the end of the day, so save you Spring Racing shoe shopping until the end of the day. This will help you pick the right size, and will be a more realistic fit for Carnival day. Your feet can change up to half a size over the course of a day, and if you are at the races your feet will generally be hotter from walking around.

4. Know your shoe lingo: choose a shoe with a closed heel counter- the part at the back of the shoe that wraps around your heel. This will make your foot more stable and help stop it from sliding forward and putting pressure on the ball of your foot. A heel counter may also prevent embarrassing falls on the day, as it also makes you less likely to roll your ankles. You’re in luck as this year this style is in fashion, so there are plenty of options to choose from.

5. Shoe support for Carnival hazards: stop yourself from any Carnival day mishaps with a thicker heels. These heels will help distribute weight more effortlessly, and reduce the risk of developing plantar facilities and fat pad tissues. To find out more information or to find a physiotherapist to help you recover from Spring Racing Carnival injuries visit www.physiotherapy.asn.au.

About the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA)

The APA is the peak body representing the interests of Australian physiotherapists and their patients. It is a national organisation with state and territory branches and specialty subgroups. The APA represents more than 18,500 members who conduct more than 23 million consultations each year. To find a physiotherapist in your area, visit www.physiotherapy.asn.au/

For further information, or to speak with an expert physiotherapist, please contact:

Ruth Heenan, Australian Physiotherapy Association
T 03 9092 0813, 0416 565 332 E Ruth.Heenan@physiotherapy.asn.au
Priscilla Troung, Ogilvy PR
T 03 9246 6266 or 0432 627 973 E Priscilla.truong@ogilvy.com.au