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Blog Fitness Fitness Tips How To Strengthen Ankles For Heels And Other Stylish Shoes

How To Strengthen Ankles For Heels And Other Stylish Shoes

Wearing the right heel can make or break an outfit. The perfect pair of shoes can add that touch of elegance to your look, but if you don’t take care of your feet, you’ll be in for a world of hurt. High heels tend to put a lot of pressure on the balls of your feet and can cause serious problems like bunions, hammertoes, and Morton’s neuroma. Wearing heels also puts you at a greater risk for ankle sprains and other injuries. That’s why it’s important to take care of your feet and ankles when you’re wearing heels. Read on to learn how to strengthen ankles for heels and other stylish shoes.

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Ankle Strengthening Exercises

If you’ve been wondering, “how can I strengthen my ankles to wear heels?” There are a few ankle strengthening exercises that you could do to help prevent injuries.

Ankle Flexion

Flexion means bending your ankle up toward your shin. This exercise strengthens the muscles and tendons around your ankle joint.

  1. Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Place a resistance band around your foot and hold the ends in each hand.
  3. Bend your ankle up as far as you can, then slowly release back to the starting position.
  4. Repeat 10-15 times on each foot.

Ankle Extension

Extension means pointing your toes away from your shin. This exercise strengthens the muscles and tendons on the back of your ankle.

  1. Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Place a resistance band around your foot and hold the ends in each hand.
  3. Point your toes away from your shin as far as you can, then slowly release back to the starting position.
  4. Repeat 10-15 times on each foot.

how to strengthen ankles for heels

Ankle Inversion And  Eversion

Inversion means turning your foot inward, while eversion means turning your foot outward. These exercises strengthen the muscles and tendons on the sides of your ankle joint.

  1. Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Place a resistance band around your foot and hold the ends in each hand.
  3. Turn your foot inward, then slowly release back to the starting position.
  4. Repeat 10-15 times on each foot.
  5. Now turn your foot outward, then slowly release back to the starting position.
  6. Repeat 10-15 times on each foot.

Read More: Resistance Band Exercise For Legs And Glutes: Best Band Workouts For Your Glutes And Leg Muscles

Ankle Circles

This exercise helps to increase range of motion in your ankle joint.

  1. Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Lift your right foot off the ground and trace a small circle in the air with your toes.
  3. Reverse direction and trace a larger circle.
  4. Repeat 10 times in each direction, then switch to your left foot and repeat.

Heel Raises

Heel raises help to strengthen the muscles and tendons in your feet and ankles. They also help to increase range of motion in your ankle joint.

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and place your hands on a wall or chair for balance.
  2. Slowly rise up onto your toes, then lower back down.
  3. Repeat 10-15 times.

how to strengthen ankles for heels

Calf Raises

This exercise helps to stretch and strengthen your Achilles tendon and the muscles in your calf. To do this exercise:

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and raise up onto your toes. 
  2. Hold for a few seconds and then slowly lower back down. 
  3. Do 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions.

Toe Raises

This exercise helps to stretch and strengthen the muscles in your feet. To do this exercise:

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and raise up onto your toes. 
  2. Hold for a few seconds and then slowly lower back down. 
  3. Do 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions.

Tips For Wearing High Heels

Now that you know how to strengthen your ankles for heels, here are a few tips to help you wear them without pain:

Choose The Right Shoe

There are several factors to consider when choosing the right high heel. First, make sure the shoe fits well. There should be no slipping or pinching, and your toes should not be cramped.

Second, choose a shoe with a wide toe box so that your toes have room to move. Third, pick a shoe with good arch support to help relieve pressure on your feet.

Break In Your Shoes Gradually

Don’t try to wear your shoes all day long the first time you put them on. Start with an hour or two, then gradually increase the amount of time you wear them. This will help your feet get used to the new shoes and reduce the risk of blisters and other problems.

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Wear The Right Sock

Wearing the right sock can make a big difference in how comfortable your high heels are. Choose a moisture-wicking sock made from a breathable fabric to help keep your feet dry and comfortable.

Take Care Of Your Feet

Be sure to take care of your feet when you’re wearing high heels. When you’re at home, soak your feet in a cool Epsom salt bath to help relieve any pain or swelling (1). And be sure to stretch your feet and calves each day to keep them flexible.

Why Do My Ankles Give Out When Wearing Heels?

There are several reasons why a person might have weak ankles:

Arch Type

The arch of your foot plays a big role in how well your foot can support your body weight. If you have flat feet or low arches, you’re more likely to have weak ankles (2).

Muscle Imbalance

If the muscles around your ankle are not evenly balanced, it can cause weakness and instability. This often happens when the muscles on the outside of your ankle are tight and the muscles on the inside are weak (2).

how to strengthen ankles for heels

Poor Footwear

Wearing high heels that are too narrow or too high can put extra strain on your ankles and feet, which can lead to weakness and instability (2).

Previous Injury

If you’ve sprained your ankle in the past, you’re more likely to have weak ankles. This is because the ligaments and tendons around your ankle can become stretched or torn, which can cause instability (2).

Age

As we age, our bones and muscles tend to weaken and our joints become less stable. This can cause the ligaments and tendons around our ankles to become stretched or torn, which can lead to instability (2).

Read More: Kettlebell Leg Workout To Build Strong Legs And Core

Can You Train Your Feet To Wear Heels?

The short answer is yes, you can train your feet to wear heels. Just like any other muscle in your body, the muscles in your feet can be strengthened with exercise. And just like any other muscle, the more you use them, the stronger they’ll become.

To train your feet to wear heels, start by wearing them for short periods of time, gradually increasing the amount of time you wear them each day. Be sure to choose a shoe that fits well and provides good support. And be sure to stretch your feet and calves each day to keep them flexible.

Heel Mistakes You’re Making

You’ve finally found the perfect pair of heels, but after a few hours of wear, your feet are killing you. If this sounds familiar, you might be making one (or more) of these common mistakes:

You’re Wearing The Wrong Size

One of the most common mistakes people make is wearing heels that are too small. This can cause a lot of pain and discomfort, not to mention blisters and other problems. Make sure you’re wearing the right size by having your feet measured at a shoe store.

how to strengthen ankles for heels

You’re Not Wearing Them Enough

If you only wear your heels once in a while, your feet will have a hard time getting used to them. Be sure to break in your heels gradually by wearing them for short periods of time at first, then gradually increasing the amount of time you wear them.

You’re Wearing Them For Too Long

Even if you’ve broken in your heels and are wearing the right size, you shouldn’t wear them for more than a few hours at a time. This can cause pain, swelling, and other problems (3).

You’re Not Stretching

Stretching your feet and calves each day can help reduce the risk of pain and discomfort when wearing heels (2). Be sure to stretch out before you put on your heels, and take a break every few hours to stretch again.

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You’re Not Taking Care Of Your Feet

The anatomy of your feet is quite complicated. Your feet have 26 bones, 33 joints, and over 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments. That’s a lot of moving parts that can easily get injured if you don’t take care of them.

One of the most common injuries in the foot is plantar fasciitis, which is when the ligament that connects your heel bone to your toes becomes inflamed. This can be extremely painful and make it difficult to walk (2).

If you’re not taking care of your feet, you’re putting yourself at risk for injury. Make sure to stretch and massage your feet regularly, and see a podiatrist if you have any pain or problems.

The Bottom Line

Heels can be fashionable and fun, but they can also be painful and dangerous. Be sure to choose the right size, break them in gradually, and take care of your feet to avoid injury. And if you’re ever in doubt, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and leave the heels at home.

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DISCLAIMER:

This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

SOURCES:

  1. Benefits of Epsom Salt Foot Soaks (2020, ironwoodcrc.com) 
  2. Chronic ankle instability: Current perspectives (2016, nih.gov) 
  3. High Heels and Foot Pain: All You Should Know (n.d., orthoatlanta.com)

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