Why Suri Cruise and All Children Should Not Wear High Heels

Suri Cruise Wearing High HeelsI'll admit that it's cute, but three year old Suri Cruise, the daughter of Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise (aka TomKat) should not be wearing high heels at this age.  Too often, parents fall into the "but it's cute" trap.  Parents of non-walking infants will put shoes on their babies because they match the outfit.  Both little girls and boys enjoy dressing up in their parent's shoes around the house.  To actually wear a high heeled shoe when out...that's another story.

Suri is probably the most photographed child in the world, thanks to her two superstar parents.  Many photos show her in these silver dancing shoes with high heels.  When asked about Suri in the shoes, her mother stated that it's every girl's dream to wear such shoes and who is she to stop her?  Will all due respect, you're her mother.  Of course you want her to be happy, but you also want her to be healthy and wearing such shoes can certainly impact that.

It's true that the shoes Suri is wearing is probably an appropriate size.  Just because they make such shoes doesn't mean they should be worn constantly.  In this case, the shoes are ballroom dancing shoes.  Of course Suri can wear them when she's taking dance lessons for an hour or so, but the photo doesn't look like a lesson.

Wearing a high heel at such a young age can cause shortening of the Achilles tendon.  This can happen in adults too, but is much more likely in kids.  If this happens, there will be undue stress on the back of the heel, where the tendon attaches, and can become a painful condition known as Sever's disease, or calcaneal apophysitis.  It is an inflammation of the growth plate on the back of the heel bone causing sharp heel pain.  As she grows older, the shortened tendon will lead to compensation of the rest of the foot, causing the foot to become unstable and pronate.  This will put her at risk for developing bunions and hammertoes in the future. She is already at risk for these deformities, since her mother suffers from bunions and hammertoes already.

Why put Suri's future health and happiness above her 3 year old desire to wear the shoes all day.  Katie and Tom, show Suri how much you love her by limiting her time in her favorite shoes to an hour a day.  She'll thank you for it in the long run.
Dr. Andrew Schneider
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Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.
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