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Peeptoe

Heel Flex

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Usually I wear heels that are in the 3 inch range. One of the problems I have is that stilettos in the 4 inch range tend to "flex" during my heel to toe stride with my 6 foot 200 pound body. Not only does it sound horrible but it puts a bit of a hiccup in my stride. I've tried altering my gate a bit but it feels too unnatural. The obvious solution is pick shoes with a beefier heel. But it got me curious if anyone has experienced heel failure from this while out. 

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Hello 

yes I did ! And it appears that there was 3 raisons to that. 

First I wasn't walking properly: the heel was touching the ground first with a lot of pressure on it. So I trained,trying to walk in an exaggerate way,the heel and the ball reaching the soil at the same time. That's just training,not the way we have to walk in real.

Then I realized that the heels that flex or  break were ( also ) of poor quality and not well fixed to the shoe itself. Only one screw and some short nails. A normal cobbler can fix if easily.And the heel if very high must be reinforced with metallic insert.If only plastic,very high heel are not strong enough and flex  

And the construction of the shoe must position  the heel righ under your heel foot. Not behind,not to much forward. 

Hope it could help 

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I'd be curious to know whether you're having this problem with every single four inch heel you've tried, or is it multiple pairs of a certain style? Does the problem start immediately, or does it get worse as you walk a few miles? You are running into one of the frustrations of our trade--that is, we actually walk in shoes that really aren't meant to be walked in. I wish I could say that there was a formula for finding high heels that are durably built. Price often seems to make no difference as far as durability. Comfort? Yes, price often seems to make a difference, but I have had some pretty expensive shoes fail infuriatingly soon because they weren't durably built.

I have had a few loose or wobbly heels over the years, but the most frustrating thing I've run into is flimsy shanks. The shank is a piece of spring metal that runs between the insole and outsole from the heel of the shoe up to somewhere past the ball of the foot. It basically lends stiffness to the part of the sole which doesn't touch the ground. Without it, your heels will wobble all over the place even though they are tightly attached. I've broken three of these, they've all been somewhat chunky heels, and they've been on moderately priced (like Nine West) to pretty expensive (like Vera Wang). When this happens, you basically just throw them away. For comparison, I weigh 140 pounds, and I think I walk fairly lightly.

We really need more information about what is happening with your shoes, then maybe we can figure out something.

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 Many of todays shoes have the heel placement straight down from the rearof the shoe. This is discussed in many other threads, but the basic jist is the shoe is not balanced well under your weight, your weight is not centered over the heel.

As for walking, you heel is sopposed to touch first. If you walk such that the ball of your foot and heel contact simultaneously you'll look like a chicken strutting about.

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7 hours ago, mlroseplant said:

 

We really need more information about what is happening with your shoes, then maybe we can figure out something.

I know whats happening.  When my heel strikes and begins to take my weight the skinny cheap stiletto heel flexes a bit under the load. Then when the ball of my foot lands and begins to rock forward the heel flexes back. 

I was experiencing this while breaking in a new pair of shoes from jcpenney and got me curious about the experiences of others. Maybe some insight into what to look for in a tall stiletto would help. My 3 inch heels while still technically stilettos do have "beefier" heels than my 4 inch heels. 

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I’m 250 lbs 5.11 tall.  I like all my heels 4 inches and higher.  I found the odd heel flexes when walking. For me I try taking smaller strides while walking.   Makes a difference.  Sure it will take a few more steps to where you wanna go but less flex will happen.  

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On 7/26/2019 at 1:23 PM, Peeptoe said:

My 3 inch heels while still technically stilettos do have "beefier" heels than my 4 inch heels. 

There is some law of physics, perhaps Young's Modulus or something like that, I can't recall, which says that all other things being equal, the shorter something is, the stiffer it is. Think of a plastic ruler. At its full length, say approximately 12 inches or 30 centimeters, it is very easy to bend. Break the ruler in half, and it is much more difficult to bend. Break it in half again, and it's quite difficult to bend. Same ruler, same materials, different lengths. I would think that 3 inch heels or shorter would not be flexing much, no matter how cheaply made. They might break for other reasons, however, as stiffness has little to do with strength. To paraphrase from some long ago forgotten textbook, "A soda cracker is stiff and weak, steel is stiff and strong, nylon is flexible and strong, raspberry jelly is flexible and weak."

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17 hours ago, mlroseplant said:

There is some law of physics, perhaps Young's Modulus or something like that, I can't recall, which says that all other things being equal, the shorter something is, the stiffer it is. 

Ah yes in the world of machinists we see this with cutting tools. A longer endmill will flex and make a tapered cut.  While a shorter endmill will not. 

I just thought it would be fun to hear the stories of others that have had issues with it in their heels. I'm sure there are plenty of us considering the shoes we love were designed to be worn by people that generally weigh less than we do. 

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Yep, you got it. With the heel unbalanced and not centered under your weight there is a bending moment applied that would otherwise be minimized or not even there if the heel were directly under your weight. In pure compression the heel will hold a lot more weight.

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Go for a well-made shoes that are balanced. Even for branded shoes I always check how well it stands on a flat surface. It should not wobble when you put it down. Cheap shoes usually tends to flex from where the heel is attached. 

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