High heeled shoes have long been an essential part of smart, fashionable dress. From court shoes at work to sparkly sandals on a night out, many people wear shoes with some kind of heel for large amounts of the day. Apart from aching feet, these un-naturally shaped instruments of torture (ha ha!!!) can have a detrimental effect of many areas of our body.
Joints – High heeled shoes do not usually contain much padding in the sole. This means that the knee has no shock absorption to protect it.
Lower Back – High heels throw our posture out. Wearing heels causes our pelvis to push forwards and put a strain on the lower back. This can lead to ongoing pain.
Corns and callouses – Forcing a square shaped foot into a triangle shaped shoe and then adding pounds of pressure leads to rubbing on the skin. This can cause blisters, corns and ingrown toe-nails.
Tight calves and Achilles tendon – When the calves are held in a shortened position for hours on end, tension will build up in the muscles and tendons in the back of the leg. This can lead to pain when in flats or barefoot as well as making active people more prone to injury when exercising.
Trips, falls and sprains – However practiced we are at walking in high heels, accidents happen. They are more likely on uneven ground or after a night out, but we are essentially unstable when walking on our tip toes balanced on a stiletto heel.
Don’t want to give up your high heels and wear clumpy “school” shoes? Prepared to take the risks to keep up with fashion? Just consider these alternatives:
Wear a variety of heel heights throughout the week so that your muscles can adapt.Try Dressy flats for a night out. They look great with trousers.Opt for platform soles or wedge heels to give more support and a bit of padding.
Choose a brand that offers comfort soles and a variety of fittings to minimize the problems.