As a teenager and in my very early 20s, there was nothing I couldn’t do in heels. I could climb stairs with groceries, chase after toddlers for 10 hours a day, and run wardrobe crew for a pretty big theater without ever feeling any sort of discomfort. Times change, though. By my mid-20s I still wore my heels everywhere, but I complained a bit at the end of the night. My mother practically needs a piggyback ride after 20 minutes in hers, and she gave up anything over three inches last year. As one ages, one’s feet often become less able to deal with the discomfort of high heels, but an increasing number of women are resorting to foot fillers to avoid ever having to wear more sensible shoes.

According to Elle, women are having plumping fillers like collagen injected into their feet to help absorb the shock of putting one’s foot down in a high heel.

“The ball of the foot has a pad of fat that’s a shock absorber between the bone and the outside world,” Dr. Mitchell Chasin said to Elle’s Cheryl Wischhover. “As people wear high heels, that pad of fat gets pushed out of the way and what happens then is that bone doesn’t really have a cushion and it becomes irritated.”
Instead of switching to more comfortable or foot-friendly shoes, many of Dr. Chasin’s clients are opting to have tiny needles stabbed into their feet so they can get cushy fillings to pad their foot bones. The procedure costs between $750 and $1,500 and lasts for about a year.

Dr. Chasin has been advising his patients to not use this treatment as a means of continuing to wear high heels all day, every day.

“Use heels in moderation and not all the time,” he said. “That’s what got you there in the first place. … The answer isn’t to fill it and continue to abuse it.”
But of course not everybody listens, especially when they can just have more Radiesse inserted into their feet again next year when this batch wears off.

“They’re like, ‘Okay!’ then they come in to see me while wearing their heels,” Dr. Chasin laughed. “We can only try, right?”

Oof. Having a bunch of tiny needles in your feet every year sounds like a special kind of torture, so maybe give the heels a break every once in a while. I love heels as much as it’s possible to love heels, but it’s still not a good idea to willfully injure oneself for fashion.

Via Elle/Photo: Shutterstock