Andrew Schox, president of the Australasian Podiatry Council has confirmed that very high heels are not the cause of uber-painful, icky-looking bunions (although they don't help matters).
A bunion - basically a big lump at the joint where your big toe meets the rest of your foot - are primarily caused by your gait, and if you are genetically pre-disposed to them. Being a female and ageing apparently also contribute to the incidence of getting them.
Andrew provides the following tips on choosing high heels that make a podiatrist's job something less of a nightmare:
•Save high heels for certain occasions, rather than wearing them every day. (Ed: unlikely, but I am willing to make Sunday the day of rest for heels).
•When you wear heels, try to opt for a lower heel height, which will reduce the pressure being forced onto your toes. (Ed: See above... Not bloodly likely!)
•Alternate heel heights on different days, to vary the pressure being placed on your muscles and joints. (Ed: As in, from high to higher?)
•A wider heel, rather than a narrow one (such as a stiletto) gives more stability, so you are less likely to twist your ankle.
•Take particular care when wearing very high heels on an uneven surface (or if you are having a few glasses of champagne). Overbalancing can cause serious injuries, such as compound ankle fractures, which often require long-term rehabilitation. (Ed: I sustain more injuries in runners than I do in high heels - and I run in heels a lot)
•If you wear heels regularly, your calf muscles can contract and become tight, which in turn can negatively affect your posture and your gait. Regular calf stretching can help. (Ed: Only by a hot personal trainer).