Q Will wearing high heels affect my running?
A Regularly wearing high heels may shorten of the calf muscles (soleus and gastrocnemius), and they may then strengthen in this shortened position. Also, the tip-toe position places pressure on the digits and ball of the foot and destabilises the ankle, and the knee joint overcompensates. Try these stretching and strengthening exercises three times a day to prevent injury.
To stretch your soleus, stand facing a wall with one leg slightly behind the other. Bend both knees. You should feel a stretch in your lower calf. Hold for 20 seconds, repeat three times then swap legs.
To stretch your gastrocnemius, stand facing a wall with your hips square and back straight. Take a step back with one leg, keeping it straight. Bend the front leg at the knee. You should feel a stretch higher in your calf. Hold for 20 seconds, repeat three times then swap legs.
To strengthen your calf muscles, stand with the balls of your feet on a step, allowing your heels to hang over the edge. Push up onto your toes, then lower all the way back down. Repeat 10 times.
Jane Newman, physiotherapist and runner