Seven out of ten (72 per cent) Irish women who ever wear high heels will wear them even if they are painful or uncomfortable, according to a new study¹ commissioned by Compeed® blister professionals. This figure puts Irish women ahead of their sisters in other European countries when it comes to suffering for their high heels. A separate study² reveals that 68 per cent of Danish women will wear high heels even if they cause pain or discomfort, followed by women in Germany (59 per cent), UK (58 per cent), France (53 per cent) and Spain (48 per cent).
The Irish study, which was undertaken by YouGov, also revealed that wearing heels makes Irish women feel feminine (67 per cent), sexy (53 per cent) and confident (51 per cent). However, two thirds of Irish women admitted they had experienced blisters (66 per cent) and excessive pressure on the balls of their feet (66 per cent) as a result of wearing high heels. Over half of Irish women (54 per cent) also confessed that they have bought three or more pairs of shoes that they have only worn once or twice because they hurt their feet.
Commenting on the results, podiatrist Veronica Daniels said that it was a cause for concern that Irish women are willing to wear shoes that are causing damage to their feet. “Prevention and early treatment of problems are key to preventing painful and potentially long term damage. At this time of year, for example, women tend to wear shoes without tights or socks so they need to be particularly careful of the potential damage that can result from the friction of the shoe or sandal against the bare foot,” she said.
Ms Daniels added that Irish women also need to spend more time choosing their shoes. She suggests the following tips for women to follow when purchasing shoes:
* Go shopping in the afternoon so that your shoes will be comfortable after using your feet.
* Buy natural material leather or cork soles and leather uppers.
* Examine any stitching on the inside of the shoe and identify where it will touch your foot as this may cause friction, especially if you wear the shoes with bare feet
* Look at the shape of your feet; Have you a narrow or broad foot? Is your foot triangular broad at the front and narrow at the back? An ankle strap in this case will help keep your shoe on.
* Buy shoes that are the correct size for your feet. Too big and you will get friction, and too small and you’ll get pressure
* Always walk up and down the shop three or four times and think about how your feet feel in the shoes you are trying on.
¹This independent study was carried out by YouGov among 1002 Irish women. Fieldwork was undertaken between 26th April – 2nd May 2012. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Republic of Ireland women (aged 18+).
²These figures are taken from an independent study that was carried out by StrategyOne for Compeed on a sample of 3,792 women (High heel wearers =3,010) in UK, France, Germany, Spain and Denmark between 16th – 19th April 2012.