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To Wear or Not To Wear High Heels

Tuesday, 06 February 2018 00:00

Wearing high heels may negate the fact that the feet act as shock absorbers. If proper shoes are worn, cushioning in the soles of the shoes generally protects the body from the constant battering incurred while walking and running. However, if the choice to wear high heels is made, the body’s weight shifts onto the balls of the feet, forcing the toes to be crammed into a small area and potentially resulting in all kinds of conditions. There are typically several reasons to avoid wearing high heels, one of which is abnormal movement occurring in the ankles. This can result from the foot being forced to bend forward, possibly restricting circulation in the feet. Additionally, the Achilles tendon is often affected which may cause pain in the calves. If high heels are consistently worn, the ankle and calf tendons may lose flexibility, making it difficult to walk. Good advice is to wear high heels as little as possible.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from Advanced Care Podiatry. Our doctors 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 one of our offices located in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, Port Richmond, Philadelphia, and Hamilton, New Jersey. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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