Friday, September 24, 2021

Get the Pointe

Monday’s post, I wrote, “...wore my Nine West 4-inch high heel slingback pumps both days and they were comfortable from beginning to end, so I believe the foot stretching exercises that I do every morning are having an effect.”

In the comments, ikaras asked, “What foot exercises are working for you?”

To make a short story long...

In recent years, I noticed that my ability to wear high heels has diminished – I cannot wear heels for very long without pain in my foot. I was aware of various foot exercises that were supposed to help the problem, but I  never tried them.

Two summers ago, I had lower back pain and my doctor sent me for physical therapy. The therapist gave me a handful of exercises to do and I have been doing them every morning ever since. 

One of the exercises is the single leg knee-to-chest stretch. As in the photo above, with my hand behind my left knee, I pull my knee in to my chest until a comfortable stretch is felt in my lower back and buttocks. I hold that position for 30 seconds while keeping my back relaxed. Then I repeat the stretch with my right leg. Then I repeat the left and right stretches two more times.

One day, while counting down the 30 seconds, I thought about my high heels issue and wondered if I could stretch my foot while I was stretching my leg. After all, my foot was just hanging out in mid-air doing nothing! 

So I began stretching my foot during the knee-to-chest stretch. I simply swing my foot at the ankle in a tapping motion while stretching my toes like a ballet dancer performing the pointe technique, then swing my foot back to a natural standing (in mid-air) position. I repeat the foot stretch 30 times per set and use 30 foot stretches for counting down the 30 seconds of the knee-to-chest stretch set.

I have been doing my foot stretch exercise for about a year, but have not been able to see if they were doing any good because I have not worn high heels for an extended amount of time during the pandemic... until Saturday, when I wore high heels for eight hours.

My feet felt fine – no fatigue and no pain, so I assume my foot stretching had something to do with the big improvement in foot wear.

I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on television (I prefer to play a nurse), so I am in no position to recommend that you do what I do, your mileage may vary, but it seems to have worked for me.

Source: Elisabetta Franchi
Wearing Elisabetta Franchi

Tony Starr
U.S. Army infantryman Tony Starr femulates a burlesque queen for American troops in Korea, January 1946. 


  1. Thanks for sharing - I have been experiencing lower back difficulties, and after extended High Heel Wear I tend to get leg and foot cramps the next day. I will try this exercise (keeping in mind your lack of medical expertise and all!) You are a font of knowledge, Sweetie!

  2. I feel that any type of stretching exercises is very helpful especially as we age. Many of us never realize just what body parts start to kind of freeze up as we enjoy the retired life or recover from some type of injury.

  3. That stretch does work. Been doing it for my sciatica for years but never thought to do the foot thing to improve my fallen arches, which actually prevent me from ever wearing heels. Just too painful if I try to do so after a short period of time and, unfortunately, the pain lingers in my feet. Making time to stretch is just so good for the body no matter who you are!

  4. this article has now got me pondering: apart from generaly being larger, is there any difference anatomically between mens and womens' feet? and if so to more than a negligable degree, then if our society allowed men to wear high heels (heaven forbid!), would the manufacturers have to make specially-modified designs?

  5. Great article on unintentionally coming out. It did happen to me when daughter one found a photo in my briefcase and daughter 2 found a photo on the computer. Daughter one asked her mom who let mom, wife knows DADT, who let me know. She and I had the talk as I did with daughter 2. Neither understood, they were both young, preteen. Nothing has been said since, 20+ years. I don't think either would have a problem other than thinking its weird, it is. I have often thought I should bring it up, but then why. One daughter lives locally, San Diego the other lives overseas. No need to complicate anyone's more life than they already are.
    I have often thought I should bring it up casually, like saying,"I would look good in that dress" or something similar. We'll see what happens Thanks Sallee