Does Wearing High Heels Really Cause Foot Damage?

So many of us love the look of high heels, and this style of shoe generates billions every year. This is quickly changing, though. A combination of changing times and new fashion modes has made flats and sneakers the contemporary footwear of choice. Even with these new developments, however, high heels remain a formal and professional standard in many social circles. 

Wearing high heels, especially wearing them often or when you have to walk long distances, can carry painful consequences. Our team at Premier Foot & Ankle sees the long-term effects of continuously wearing high heels. 

We actively treat a myriad of foot conditions and issues that arise from wear-and-tear of your foot while in heels. Our dedicated team of podiatrists can help you with your foot pain, but ultimately, we leave it up to you to decide if the risks of high heels are worth it.

Where did high heels come from, and how did they become a problem?

High heels were originally developed in Turkey for noblemen. As the world opened to international trade, men in Europe began wearing them while riding on horseback. Over time, as fashion designers rose, heels grew higher. Some heels grew so high, even models couldn’t wear them. While modeling for Vivienne Westwood in the early 90s, Naomi Campbell took a spill in eleven inches high platform shoes.

Campbell was far from the only woman to topple in high heels. The first ten years of the new millennium saw over 120,000 high heel-related injuries, with most of them being ankle strains or sprains. Many more women who habitually wear high heels suffer from chronic foot pain and fatigue. Our doctors often see patients whose love of wearing these balance-altering shoes has landed their feet in serious trouble. 

What happens when I wear high heels?

High heels immediately shift your entire body weight to the ball of your foot, when it should be on the heel of your foot. This puts more stress on your knees. Your lower back and chest are pushed forward, throwing your spine out of alignment. And worst of all, foot pain may strike at any time. 

Prolonged wear of high heels is linked to a long list of foot injuries, like fractures, bunions, and the afore-mentioned strains and sprains. They’re behind the most common emergency room visits for women, and over time, can weaken the muscles and tendons in your legs, ankles, and feet. 

How do I heal my feet from high heels?

Cutting back on wearing high heels is essential if you have foot pain. Carrying them with you, and only changing into them when you attend an event is a great place to start. If you have a desk job, take your heels off, and stretch your knees and feet every few minutes. 

Taking care of your feet is essential. We’re here to help you gain and maintain the health and comfort of your feet. Call us for an appointment today, or use our online scheduling tool if you’re living with foot pain.

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