I don’t care who you are, or how often you wear high heels…you cannot tell me that your feet don’t hurt, feel cramped or look torn up at one point or another. I was the ultimate high heel wearer up until last year. I only just recently have been able to venture into wearing heels around 3in. But have always instantly gone for the 4-6 in heels if I could. I never had problems up until 2011. I had started working at a casino as a cocktail waitress in 2011. It was a great job money wise but it absolutely destroyed me (my body and my soul). Long hours, miserable people didn’t outweigh the large sums of money I was bringing in I got myself out of there in 2013 and never looked back! Best thing I ever did, hands down.
So what does this casino have to do with my poor aching feet?
When I first started, you should have seen the shoes they wanted us to wear. 6 inch wedges that were cheap and wobbly, on CARPET. We wore them for not even one day. I remember leaning against a slot machine trying to keep the pressure off my toes while stimutaneously trying to maintain my balance so my ankles didn’t wobble over and break. My supervisor came over and said you can’t stand like that. I gave her the worst death stare I could and said you put these shoes on and say that. She smiled and said ok! (completely thinking she would win the battle) Less than 30 minutes later she came back and said I could change my shoes. So one crisis was averted. But they still required us to wear 2 inch heels, stay on our feet for 8-10 hours, sometimes longer with only a few 30 minute breaks. A few of the girls wore pedometers…on average, we walked 10-13 miles a day.
Can you imagine walking 10 miles a day in heels? With no real opportunity to rest your feet over the course of 8-10 hours? Its brutal. I started with the ability to wear the highest heels and left with feet that wouldn’t even allow me to wear some flats. My bunions aren’t as bad as some peoples, but my bunions are painful and I’m affected by them every single day.
Just before I left the casino I was in search of some pain relief and a way to correct them that didn’t involve surgery. A friend had bunion surgery and was out of commission for nearly 6 weeks. I obviously couldn’t afford to take that much time off.
I tried some different separators that you could buy at walgreens, a little cusion for the outside and even found a little bunion brace that you were supposed to wear at night…but the hard plastic dug into my skin and caused me to bleed. So those (although they helped a little bit) were out. I searched and searched…and then I found them.
I read every review I possibly could, people corrected their bunions by wearing them daily! At the time I discovered them I was so broke it wasn’t even kinda a joke. I could barely afford to pay for gas to get to work, let alone spend $40 on toe stretchers. So I waited.
Finally earlier this year I made my yoga to purchase and couldn’t have been happier. The second I got them, I instantly knew they were going to help and couldn’t believe how cramped and tight my feet were. I was in a lot of pain after wearing them for about oh…5 minutes. I left them on for about 15 and couldn’t take it anymore. But I worked my way up to leaving them on for an hour. Each day another 5 minutes. Now I can put them on more comfortably and not be in tears because they hurt my poor toes. I’ve actually been really bad about wearing them. (its a lot easier to skip wearing them when you wear more comfortable shoes all the time) I’ve gotta get back into wearing them because it really does help relieve a lot of the pain in my feet and not just the bunions.
So what causes a bunion?
According to The Mayo Clinic “A bunion is a bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of your big toe. A bunion forms when your big toe pushes against your next toe, forcing the joint of your big toe to get bigger and stick out.”
Genetics, how you walk (I have pronated feet), arthritis, and the shoes you wear can help to aggrivate and cause bunions.
There aren’t many options when it comes to bunions that don’t involve changing the shoes you wear, pain relievers or surgery. Taping and splinting (or stretching your toes with the Yoga Toes) help to allieviate the pain. Even with surgery, the bunions can return.
The podiatrist I went to suggested I do a few things. Use orthotic insoles to help with the pronation (which means my ankles dip inwards towards each other), take pain meds to relieve the pain and stop wearing heels. I was already not wearing heels regularly. The insoles are much easier for me to wear in the winter and can be difficult in a lot of flat shoes. They’re intended for boots/sneakers and other shoes that enclose your entire foot. Most flats don’t leave the room for me to wear the insoles.
Although surgery probably would be beneficial for me, I just can’t take the time (and the money) to have it. Being out of commission for 6 weeks or even on crutches for that time is not realistic for me. Being on crutches for 2 weeks when I sprained my ankle was bad enough!
Yoga Toes, however, are awesome. Even though they initially hurt when you wear them, I did notice after wearing them for a little while each day for a week or two that my feet were in a lot less pain. The ones you get at Walgreens or CVS or other pharmacies just don’t compare. You really need one that fits your feet, not a one-size-fits-all kinda thing. The ones at CVS were gigantic on me! It was well worth the extra cost of the Yoga Toes as they come in a variety of sizes (and colors!) both for men and women. If I know I’m going to have a long day in heels, I bust them out at the end of the day. Even for 15 minutes it helps with any foot pain!
I totally recommend getting some Yoga Toes (even if you don’t have bunions or foot pain) as they can help to prevent them. I never thought of foot care until my feet were destroyed. Now I want to prevent any further damage and avoid surgery.