Tuesday, 11 July 2023 00:00

Wearing High Heels Can Cause Foot Problems

High-heeled shoes are the cause of many foot problems, and experts agree the higher the heel, the worse they are for your feet. When high heeled shoes also have a narrow and pointy toe box, they may become even more destructive. Add to that strappy sandals with minimal support and thin soles, and the situation worsens. Specifically, high heels force the weight of the body onto the metatarsals and sesamoid bones of the feet. This excess pressure in turn causes inflammation of the surrounding nerves. In some cases, hairline breaks in the bones, called stress fractures, can develop. In addition, the likelihood of tripping and spraining an ankle increases while wearing high heels. The answer may be simply changing your footwear or limiting the amount of time spent wearing high heels. Shoes with heels no higher than two inches are thought to be less harmful. Look for shoes with a wider toe box that allows freedom of movement for the toes and thicker heels for increased stability. For help with foot problems stemming from wearing high heels long term, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist.

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 New England Foot and Ankle. 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 Chelmsford and Newburyport, MA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Why High Heels Are Not Ideal for Healthy Feet

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