Wearing High Heels May Be Detrimental to Foot Health

Many people endure the pain that can come from wearing high heels. This can be a result of the foot being forced into this type of shoe, and ending up in an unnatural position. This can cause the toes to push together as the heel extends up. Many women have discomfort from wearing high heels after approximately an hour, and may tend to ignore the pain. Wearing high heels can add sleekness to the leg, and the body can appear to be thinner and taller. Despite these favorable qualities, research has indicated that frequently wearing high heels may change the muscle balance surrounding the ankle joint, possibly leading to instability. High heels can push the center of gravity in the body up and forward, and changes to the posture may be needed to help maintain proper balance. If you would like additional information about the pros and cons of wearing high heels, it is suggested that you confer with a podiatrist who can help you in determining if wearing high heels is right for you.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Kenneth H. Nixon, DPM from Western Reserve Foot Clinic. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which Parts of My Body Will Be Affected by High Heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What Kinds of Foot Problems Can Develop from Wearing High Heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How Can I Still Wear High Heels and Maintain Foot Health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Stow, OH . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.