Thighbootguy

Learning to walk in heels again

17 posts in this topic

For the past year I have been having problems with a pinched nerve in my lower back affecting my left leg.  My chiropractor has eliminated the pain but she says the nerve may never completely recover, although it has, and continues to, improve.  The result is my left leg and particularly my left ankle are weaker than the right which means I walk kind of funny especially on 5" stilettos

The worst thing that was happening was that my left ankle would not withstand the sideways torque a 5" heel put on my ankle if the surface I was walking on was not absolutely flat.  Waking on a lawn is almost impossible.  After a lot of practicing, I noticed I was having the most problems with my black leather thigh boots, which are probably a size too large for me, but even 3" block heels are giving me issues.  I have always recommended that folks used a cushioned insole in boots.  I had an extra thick insole in my thigh boots and, although being very comfortable, gave me a soft surface (unstable) upon which to walk.  I took the insole out and it really has helped stabilize my foot a lot!

I really wanted to improve my walking so I got out my video camera and practiced walking.  I noticed that when I transferred weight onto my left foot, my leg gave way just a bit, but it was enough to look awkward.  To make sure I was seeing an image that would inspire me to walk correctly, I practiced walking in my thigh boots, mini skirt, and log hair which emphasized any roughness in my gate.  I think practice transferring my weight to my left foot and leaning to the right just a bit to counteract  the leg not accepting the weight will smooth things out a lot.  I also figured that while I was at it, I would see if I could walk less like a guy, which means better posture.  Essentially I have to learn to walk all over again. :penitent:

The bottom line is removing the insole and practice.

Any advice will be appreciated.

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I am sorry to learn about your problem Thighbootguy.  As much as we love high heels it must be awful when you find out that you can no longer use them the way you like to use them.

I sincerely hope that you get your strength back and start using them as often as you want.

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27 minutes ago, Thighmax said:

I am sorry to learn about your problem Thighbootguy.  As much as we love high heels it must be awful when you find out that you can no longer use them the way you like to use them.

I sincerely hope that you get your strength back and start using them as often as you want.

@Thighmax -  Thanks for the concern.  Walking poorly in heels hasn't stopped me from walking in heels, I just have to be more careful.  Besides the best exercise to strengthen your ankle is walking in high heels so I'm keeping up my strength training.

By the way I wear heels when I visit my chiropractor.  I was expecting her to tell me they were bad for me but she has only said that she only wears then to fancy outings and she is glad to take them off at the end of the evening.  I have gotten two "nice boots" comments from her though.  I told her if I was wearing heels, my leg was doing better so now she checks how high my heels are and if there block or stiletto.  The time I went in wearing flats she knew I was in trouble.

Edited by Thighbootguy
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Sorry to hear about your troubles, TBG. I mentioned on my thread how I haven't worn anything higher than an inch and a half for over a month, but, in my case, it was by choice, not so much for you, I can imagine this must be hard on you. But, I can only suggest you take things slowly while you build up your strength, it would be foolish to try and get back in harness too soon as that might result in a setback. So, take it easy.

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56 minutes ago, JeffB said:

Sorry to hear about your troubles, TBG. I mentioned on my thread how I haven't worn anything higher than an inch and a half for over a month, but, in my case, it was by choice, not so much for you, I can imagine this must be hard on you. But, I can only suggest you take things slowly while you build up your strength, it would be foolish to try and get back in harness too soon as that might result in a setback. So, take it easy.

JeffB - I have been improving for several months but it still catches me off guard when the ankle stops working.  I walked through Costco just to explore the store.  I was wearing a new pair of boots with 4" stiletto heels that I thought would be a safe bet.  I got halfway through the store and my ankle gave out and I had to awkwardly make my way back to my car. :penitent:

GEDC0703.jpg  <--these boots

As my 102 year old aunt used to say, "Quality work takes time".  I do have an incentive in that I have a lot of heels that I love to wear.  However, I have been buying boots with flat heels just so I can go out wearing boots.

Last night I played in a jam at the Old Milford Opry where I wore a pair of knee high suede boots with 4" bock heels.  I play there almost every week and I always wear some kind of boots (only knee high so far, some with flat heels, some block, but some stilettos) and the folks have come to expect me to be wearing boots.  Imagine the setting, a bunch of old guys in flannel shirts with guitars, banjos, and fiddles (not quite Deliverance) and me with a sweatband, knit top, jeans, and boots.  I also play music that most of these folks have never heard before so I'm surprised at the warm welcome I receive, but they really are great folks.

Thanks for the kind thougts.

 

 

Edited by Thighbootguy
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Oh boy, that surely stinks.  I'm glad you have consulted a doctor, hopefully she has given you some exercises that will help rebuild strength in your ankle.  Please be careful, you surely don't want to reinjure or make matters worse. 

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I hope you get better . You seemed to be moving pretty well the day we did the heel exchange . My wife even said you get around rather well in the boots you were wearing . Be safe and take your time getting from point A to B . 

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6 hours ago, pebblesf said:

Oh boy, that surely stinks.  I'm glad you have consulted a doctor, hopefully she has given you some exercises that will help rebuild strength in your ankle.  Please be careful, you surely don't want to reinjure or make matters worse. 

Actually the exercises were for my back where the nerve was pinched.  The issue isn't that the muscles in my leg don't work, it is in getting the signal to them that they need to work, and that just comes from practice.  The annoying part is that there isn't any warning when my ankle will fail, and there isn't any pain involved... it just quits working and I really have to walk very carefully when it happens.

I can't emphasize how much removing the thick insole helped.  Maybe when things get better I can put them back in.

7 minutes ago, maninpumps said:

I hope you get better . You seemed to be moving pretty well the day we did the heel exchange . My wife even said you get around rather well in the boots you were wearing . Be safe and take your time getting from point A to B . 

Please thank your wife for the complement.  On that day things were working well even though I had been walking a good bit trying to find out meeting location but that was also interspersed with a lot of sitting in the car.

 

Folks - Thanks for the concerns.

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Hey there TBG, I hope your situation continues to improve. At least the back issues have not affected your ability to play. If you were an organist, that might be a different story.

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Hope the nerve health returns fast TBG. At least you are making lemon-aide out of the lemons and trying out a better walk.

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I was really getting tired of my left ankle providing no lateral support with no warning.  The other day (with Labor Day fast approaching) I wore my white leather thigh boots with 5" stiletto heels to Sams to see if my ankle had improved.  I walked through the store with no issues (but I was also hanging onto the grocery cart) however when I got to my car, my ankle collapsed and it was embarrassing trying to walk when the left foot kept rolling off the heel.  I have been carrying a pair of flats with me for just such emergencies be but I didn't have them that day.  I have never been into sports other than riding my bicycle so sports medicine was a foreign topic to me.  Finally it dawned on me that there might be such a thing as an ankle brace that would offer some support.  A quick Google search provided hundreds in wildly varying degrees of support.  I decided to give one a try. 

I selected a medium support ankle stabilizer and found one at Walmart (they didn't have the heavy support in my size).  Anyway I put it on this morning and realized I had to put it on tightly for it to work.  All my boots with 5" stiletto heels have enough room at the ankle to cover the stabilizer.  To my great surprise and delight this thing seems to work!   I wore my boots around the house all morning but that was not a real test so I went out to a local park with my camera.  This involved walking on soft grass, steps,  gravel, and asphalt. After half an hour I did feel my ankle fail but the stabilizer offered enough support to keep it from collapsing.  When it did fail I was able to easily walk back to my car which seemed like the prudent thing to do.  Fortunately there is no pain involved when the ankle collapses.

If I find a heavy support stabilizer in my size I may give it a try but for now this one seems to be working.

GEDC0924.jpg

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Glad you had success. A dodgy ankle would be no fun at all. I've always been blessed with strong and flexible ankles myself - if only I could say the same for my lower back! 

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I've always had weak ankles but that i would roll wearing sneakers if I stood on anything thicker than a coin. But the regular heel wearing has strengthened them and I'm a lot more stable, I would recommend this for anyone with weak ankles.

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It's been a while since I posted an update.  My left ankle is much improved but still not back to it original condition.  It may never get there so to compensate I have bought several pair of OTH boots with 4" block heels and I find I can wear them with no ankle problems at all.  Just to see how well thing were doing, I went out this morning wearing my thigh boots with 5" stilettos with my ankle brace and things went well.  My short outing was to the post office and required about a half a block of walking to and from my car.  Toward the end of the outing my left ankle was feeling Ok but was saying, "I thought I told you not to do this".  I'll keep working on strengthening the ankle but my 5" stilettos may be relegated to special occasions (which will be one of the disappointments of getting old :penitent:). 

GEDC1329.jpg

I have to go to Sam's Club in a little while but I think I'll change to boots with a 4" stiletto for that extended walking exercise.

:wavey:

Edited by Thighbootguy
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I did change the 5" stilettos for 4" stilettos and headed out to two thrift stores, Sam's Club, Kroger super store (grocery) and Walmart.  I starteded out wearing the black long coat pictures, above but in the first thrift store I found a short red leather jacket and decided to wear it instead.  (I keep telling @JeffB there are short coats out there.)

GEDC1330.jpg

This is a picture in Walmart's parking lot.  The knit dress is sleeveless so I added a pair of long gloves (actually shoulder length) that made trying on a different coat in the store an "interesting show".  (Shoulder length opera gloves is just a little over dressed for a thrift store.:penitent: )  This outing turned into over two hours of walking, as I took my time in all the stores I visited, and I found out I could still move quickly in 4" heels when a gust of wind made hat chasing a running event.   I think I can safely say I can spend the whole day in 4" heels, so at age 70, if all I have to give up is 1" of stiletto heel height I think I'm doing Ok.  Maybe a better way of stating it is I'm lucky that is the only concession I have to make.  Getting old is not not the faint of heart, but it isn't too bad when you can do it in heels.

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Hey there, TBG! Sorry about your ankle problems, yeah, growing older is a pain, pardon the pun. Perhaps there are exercises you can do to strengthen your ankle so you can resume wearing heels. Of course, going with lower heel heights wouldn't hurt either. Given a choice between style and comfort, give me comfort. Meanwhile, I like those last two outfits you sported, very classy indeed! And I'll see about that shorter jacket.

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Those are both fantastic outfits.   I think the red jacket out is awesome!!!!!!!!!!

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