Kudos to Serena Williams for Putting Health before Fashion!

At Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding reception this month, Serena Williams changed from a pink Versace gown and matching pumps to a gorgeous gown from luxury designer Valentino — and apparently didn’t have a royal care about accessorizing Valentino with sneakers.

The tennis superstar tweeted this “little-known fact:” “I often wear sneakers under my evening gown…I tend to be comfy for long nights #beingserena.”

From a podiatrist’s point of view, #beingserena in this case might also be described as “being really responsible about foot health.” People like Serena Williams who make their living playing sports – and really any person who values the health of the appendages that support them and carry them around each and every day – shouldgo to great lengths to protect their feet. Serena chose comfort over style, and Dr. Kenneth R. Wilhelm applauds Serena’s action.

Limit your time in heels

Dr. Wilhelm, board-certified podiatrist at Clifton Foot & Ankle Center in Centreville, Virginia, has long advocated that women limit their time in high heels. Heels literally change the way you walk, negatively affecting your feet, knees, hips, and back as you shift your weight around in an effort to stay upright.

In order to wear high heels safely, Dr. Wilhelm specifically recommends

  • limiting your heel height to two inches or less
  • varying the heel height that you wear, giving your foot (and body) a break from the stress of constant 3- and 4-inch heights
  • limiting your time in high heels to three hours or less

Serena followed all of these rules, wearing high heels for a few hours to the ceremony at St. George’s Chapel and changing to lower, comfortable, supportive sneakers at the royal reception. The Twitterverse was decidedly supportive of Serena’s footwear switch. Perhaps her choice will start a healthy trend in high fashion footwear.

Well played, Serena. Well played.

If your shoes are giving your feet a royal pain and you need some healing advice, give Dr. Wilhelm a call at (703) 996-3000 or make an appointment online.

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