Scientific Proof That High Heels Hurt Your Feet

A classic example of a high-heel related injury in the makingI want to give a big shout-out to the researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham who have just released a study on high-heel-related foot injuries.

According to their findings, injuries directly caused by wearing high heels have doubled between 2002 and 2012! And we’re not talking about little annoyances, either—foot and ankle fractures accounted for 19% of the problems, while sprains and strains made up over 50% of reported problems.

In spite of those telling injuries, surveys show that 62% of American women wear shoes with a higher-than-two inch heel on a regular basis—is it any wonder, then that in 2011 alone (the worst year for stiletto injuries) 19,000 individuals suffered shoe-related injuries?

To me, those statistics are shocking: you wouldn’t choose to regularly use a carving knife that kept cutting your fingers, but American women keep slipping their feet into precarious little health hazards!

And by the way, acute injuries are only one piece of the puzzle: this study doesn’t even address the long term impact wearing high-heels can have on your feet, like shortening your Achilles tendon and making you more prone to developing bunions and hammertoes.

I say it’s time to look at the numbers and face facts: the more you wear those super-high heels, the more likely you are to get hurt. Do yourself a favor: relegate your stilettos to special occasions so you don’t wind up just another statistic being seen in my Houston podiatry practice. 

Dr. Andrew Schneider
Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.