Numb Toes After Wearing Heels: Causes and Treatments

Numb toes are characterized by a burning or tingling sensation. They occur when there is a decreased blood supply to toes. Various factors can lead to numb toes, such as inflammation, infection, degenerative diseases, etc. Many women report having numb toes after wearing high heels for many hours during a day. Have you ever wondered why this occurs?

Why Do You Have Numb Toes After Wearing Heels?

In cases when you have numb toes after wearing high heels, you probably are suffering from Morton’s neuroma. A good thing is that it is not a serious condition. Usually, there is nothing to worry about; just maybe try wearing comfortable shoes. 

What is a Morton’s neuroma? Well, a neuroma is a swollen nerve and if this nerve gets constantly irritated or pinched, it can enlarge, and even extra fibrous tissue develops as a scar. Morton’s neuroma usually develops between the second and the third toes. Other locations of Morton’s neuroma are rarely possible. Morton’s neuroma is usually unilateral, occurring in only one foot, rarely in both of the feet at the same time.

Normally, Morton’s neuroma is more common among women than men due to the fact that women tend to wear uncomfortable, high heeled shoes. These kinds of shoes shift the bones of your feet into an abnormal position, increasing the risk of irritating the nerve and eventually leading to a formation of a neuroma. Being overweight and obese also increases the risk of Morton’s neuroma.

Characteristic signs of Morton’s neuroma include a burning sensation, pain, numbness or a tingling sensation. A temporary relief of pain resulting from Morton’s neuroma occurs by taking off the shoes, rubbing the feet or flexing the toes. Seek medical help if the signs and symptoms of Morton’s neuroma persist, even after wearing comfortable and low-heel shoes.

How to Get Rid of Toe Numbness

Depending on the severity of the neuroma, the presence of its signs and symptoms and overall health, conservative treatment and surgical treatment for Morton’s neuroma exist.

Natural Remedies

Conservative treatment methods for Morton’s neuroma include anti-inflammatory medications, protective shoe pads, physical therapy, corticosteroid injections as well as sclerotizing alcohol injections.

Other important things which will help eliminate or prevent numb toes after wearing heels include:

  • Wear comfortable shoes with a low feel and a cushion
  • Use an arch support
  • Wear wide toe box shoes
  • Lose weight
  • Modify the daily activity, etc.


Surgical treatment for Morton’s neuroma is recommended in cases when the conservative treatment has failed to relieve its signs and to resolve the problem. Surgical treatment consists of removing the affected nerve in the ball of the foot. Another surgical procedure except removing the affected nerve is releasing the tight ligaments that encase the nerve.

How to Cure Foot Pain and Discomfort After Wearing Heels

Besides having numb toes, pain and discomfort also accompany wearing high heels. Normally, the severity of the symptoms depends on foot structure, the structure and the height of worn heels as well as the time spent wearing these high heels. The higher and the thinner the heel is, the worse your toe numbness, pain and discomfort will be.

RICE (Resting your feet, ice packs, compression and feet elevation) is a gold standard for relieving the signs and symptoms occurring after wearing high heels. The following are more helpful ways.

1. Stretch Your Feet

By stretching your feet, toe numbness after wearing heels, pain and discomfort will relieve. While wearing high heels, the calf muscles and Achilles tendons become tight. Performing these stretching exercises regularly will do very good to your feet. Yoga is a great option. Simple range of motion exercises for your ankle are also great as they tend to keep the blood flowing in the foot. Another great method to stretch your feet is by drawing an imaginary alphabet with the big toes.

2. Soak Feet in Mineral Bath

Mineral foot baths such as Epsom salt baths help your feet relax. Epsom salt, in fact, is not a real salt but a mixture of natural minerals sulfate and magnesium. The warm water will also help dilate the blood vessels of the feet and open the skin pores. Numb toes after wearing heels will be relieved.

3. Moisturize the Feet

In cases of dry skin, the back of the heel is sensitive and prone to developing blisters and sores, sometimes making even walking difficult. Moisturize the feet regularly, using moisturizing creams. Do this especially after a warm mineral foot bath for a maximal result.

4. Massage the Feet

Massage is always a good option, especially for your feet. A deep massage will help relieve the pain and discomfort occurring after wearing high heels. It also improves the blood flow and helps get rid of the swelling of the feet.

5. Wear Comfortable Shoes

High heels should be avoided as much as possible. Instead, low-heel shoes and comfortable shoes should be used. After wearing high heels, it is important to let your feet rest. Wear sneakers! If you can’t wear sneakers, wear other comfortable shoes which provide good support to your feet. 

How to Avoid Foot Discomfort from High Heels

We all know that women love high heels and many of them spend many hours wearing high heels. However, if you are going to wear high heels, make sure to pay good attention to the following tips which will help you avoid foot pain from high heels.

  • If you decide to wear high heels, wear the best fitting high heels. If you are wearing high heels that don’t fit properly, the feet will fly forward, putting even more pressure on the toes. 
  • Choose shoes that offer a proper cushion for your feet, even when wearing high heels. You can choose a full-shoe insert. There is always the possibility of getting a silicone metatarsal pad, especially if you do spend a lot of time on high heels.
  • Avoid thin heels and choose thicker heels instead. The thinner and the higher the heel is, the greater the possibility of foot problems is.
  • Wear open toe high heels as they help relieve the pressure on calluses and corns.
  • When buying or choosing high heels to wear, pay attention to the slope of the heel. A more gradual slope of the heel is better and your feet will be more comfortable. Numb toes after wearing heels will occur less frequently. 
Current time: 06/25/2024 07:49:53 a.m. UTC Memory usage: 61656.0KB