The opening of Jurassic World was really good for a number of people this weekend. Chris Pratt, Colin Trevorrow, and Bryce Dallas Howard’s podiatrist. As awesome at it was to watch Howard run away from a T-Rex, spoiler alert Jurassic World has dinosaurs, in a pair of heels, once my brain turned back on my first thought was about how bad that would be for your feet. So in our love for all things feet here at Socks4Life, we figured we’d talk about how you can improve your 40 yard time in a pair of four inch heels.
To successfully be able to run in heels, your going to need to focus on two things: Ankle strength and balance. If you’ve ever worn a pair extra tall heels you know exactly important having strong ankles are. For anyone that’s never worn heels before, try to remember the first time you ever went out on ice skates. That weak, wobbly feeling you probably had trying to balance on a quarter inch piece of steel. Wearing high heels works those same stabilizing muscles. Besides being helpful for our hypothetical high heel footrace, strengthening these muscles will help prevent things like ankle sprains in the future.
One of the best exercises for this can be done using just a belt, but a resistance band is ideal. Put your foot in the belt or band, stretch it all the way out until you have resistance, and try to rotate your foot in one direction until you can’t stretch it anymore. You can use that same belt or band to hang small amounts of weight that you can then lift using just your ankle muscles.
Calf raises are a great, do it anywhere kind of exercise to help strengthen ankles. There are a number of variants that are all just as good to do, such as heel drops, where you start out standing on a slight platform with your heels over the edge before dropping them down to the floor, or calf raises where your feet are pointed out 45 degrees.
If you’re planning on doing any actual running or anything requiring any sort of quick, cutting motion, I can’t recommend lateral hops enough. You balance on one foot and then jump back and forth over an imaginary line on that one foot for however long you want that set to be, usually 30 seconds.
Strength is important, but so is balance when all of your weight is carried on the same area as the average baseball card. This is going to sound really obvious, but that’s because it’s so simple. Simply stand on one foot for a certain amount of time. Start off by simply raising one foot off the ground and then progress to standing like a flamingo and then you can get fancy and start swinging that other foot back and forth in front of you for some dynamic balance practice. Practice standing on uneven surfaces. Beds are perfect for this if you’re not too put off by having feet all over your bed. Any uneven, unstable surface works for this. You can buy a balance board, but an air mattress or a couple of rolled up towels are a lot cheaper. If you feel like you’ve got all of those exercises totally under control, try balancing on one foot and trying to catch a ball when someone throws it to you. It works on hand eye, helps increase your body’s awareness of where exactly the different parts are, prorioception, and is a great test of balance.
We hope these suggestions are helpful in your pursuit of ankles as a strong as steel and the balance of a cat. Don’t use these new found abilities for evil and please don’t use them to actually run in heels.