The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Should You Get Botox In Your Feet To Wear Heels On New Year’s Eve?

Posted by on Friday, December 30th, 2016


It’s nearly New Year’s Eve, so you know what that means… time to bust out those PAINFUL SHOES again! Better plan on lounging around with your feet propped up all New Year’s day, nursing a hangover and icing those throbbing feet, right? Maybe not. An increasing number of party attendees are seeking Botox or dermal fillers for the balls of their feet to make their stilettos feel more comfortable. Is this a trend you should hop on, or a dangerous fad? NYC podiatrists from The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine have the answers for you.

high heel foot pain
Is Botox a viable solution for your high heel foot pain? (Image Source:

Who Is Getting Botox For The Feet?

Cosmetic surgeons say they are treating hundreds of patients a year, particularly during the “busy holiday season”. Their clients range from high-powered NYC executives to retirees with busy social lives. Many women fall in the 45-to-60 demographic, and consider themselves “high heel obsessives” or “shoe addicts” who just can’t give up their favorite pairs of stiletto heels, no matter how much it hurts.

One petite 30-year-old saleswoman from the UK told reporters she was pleased with the results of Botox foot injections: “I’d done lots of walking around in my usual heels, then picked up my son Mason from nursery,” she explained. “By the end of the day, my feet are usually burning and sore, and I have to soak them in warm water. But two days after the stiletto lift, they didn’t hurt at all. It was incredible.”

Another woman interviewed by The Sun in 2012 says stilettos are vital to her image and her profession as a window dresser. She said the procedure has left her feeling like she is “walking on air.” She added that she can “go out for hours wearing seven-inch heels and dance all night.” She bought herself an expensive pair of Louboutins to celebrate and learned entire burlesque dancing routines in heels to keep fit. “People reading this will think the procedure is vanity-based but it isn’t,” she said. “If you have to wear glasses all day, but decide to get contacts so people can’t see them, it’s the same thing.”

How Can Botox & Dermal Fillers Fix High Heel Pain?

Botox, which temporarily paralyzes sore foot muscles and nerves, is most often injected into patients’ feet if they are suffering from hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating). Studies have shown that Botox can be more effective than steroids when treating plantar fasciitis heel pain. Another option is the injection of dermal fillers like hyaluronic acid into the foot to provide a collagen cushion to the padding in the ball of the foot, which naturally diminishes with age.

It’s not all a walk in the park, though. First, you have to endure the pain of repeated injections in the very sensitive areas of the foot that have very little fat to cushion the blow. Lidocaine numbs the area, but the pain has been described as “agony” as the needle goes in. Women say their feet didn’t visibly look bigger, but they felt “fat” and “puffed up” after the 30-minute procedure. You may find people offering Botox and fillers for the feet for as little as $350 or as much as $750 depending on the quantity and type of injection needed, with effects lasting up to a year.

What Do Podiatrists Say About Foot Botox?

“There is no magic bullet,” cautions Dr. Mariola Rivera from The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine. While foot Botox may sound like an easy way to strut around in style this holiday season, there are risks people should know about. “If too much filler is used, it could migrate elsewhere in the foot and cause unsightly bumps, pain, and pressure on the nerves or the joints,” she explains.

Other complications may include:

  • Pain — like “walking on marbles” — if the filler is too thick or firm
  • Skin infection, necrosis, granulomas, and allergic reactions
  • Nerve or blood vessel injuries

The foot is a complex structure, so injections in this region should not be taken lightly by someone without in-depth knowledge of anatomy. “I wouldn’t trust someone who does not have a medical degree, who may have just taken a quick weekend course on how to do Botox injections,” she warns. The field of “cosmetic procedures” is not as well regulated as an American Medical Board discipline like podiatry.

Like most foot pain specialists, our doctors feel the solution to foot pain isn’t to seek annual injections, so you can keep abusing yourself. Instead, Dr. Rivera recommends stopping by The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine in NYC for a personalized footwear consultation. “We can help you find a comfortable shoe that looks amazing with your formal attire without leaving you a wreck the next day,” she says. Our centers in Manhattan and White Plains, NY are equipped with the latest foot pain technologies to help you attack the root cause of pain and recover faster.



If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.