High heel help

(NBC News) There is a sad moment in every woman’s life when reality hits. Our feet simply are not shaped like a Barbie doll’s.

That moment for Julie Lopez came during her daughter’s wedding.

Her high heel shoes hurt so badly that she spent the reception barefoot.

Armed with determination and a background as an orthopedic nurse, Lopez went to italy for the best shoe manufacturers in the world.

Her company, Julie Lopez Shoes, was born.

“We widen the forefoot of the shoe just a little bit,” she explains.

Podiatrists say that’s key. A wider forefoot means toes aren’t as crowded and contorted into unnatural, painful positions.

“When they are thin in the forefoot, they put pressure on the nerves and cause burning and pain especially with long-term wear,” says Dr. Howard Osterman of the American Podiatric Medical Association.

Lopez figured out how to lace comfort with style.

She added padding, got rid of seams inside the toe box that might put pressure on bones, and put tiny slits on the outside of the shoe.

That provides a little extra give for people who suffer from hammertoes or bunions.

“It’s not going to be a tennis shoe, but it’s also something that you can wear and be comfy in for extended periods of time because your foot is more normal in it,” she says.

It seems to be a step in the right direction in easing women’s love-hate relationship with shoes.

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