Women Continue To Wear High Heels Despite Foot Health Risks

Posted on Aug 09, 2012

Houston podiatrist discusses the problems with high heelsIt's a fight that I admit defeat on. You just have to look at my own wife's shoes to know this. Women will wear high heels...period. It doesn't matter what risks they come with or the discomfort some of them provide. It doesn't even matter if the woman is married to a Houston podiatrist who treats others for these problems daily. The fact is that high heels look good and women feel good wearing them.


It doesn't matter that there is good evidence that wearing high heels changes the way women walk. It forces you to take shorter and more forceful strides, according to the Journal of Applied Physiology, which increases the chances of muscle strain.


High heels also increases the chances of Morton's neuroma, a nerve swelling and inflammation leading to pain in the ball of the foot. Because of the added pressure on the ball of the foot from the high heel, along with the narrow shoes, there is increased pressure on the nerves that can lead to pain and may limit the shoes you can wear. High heels have also been blamed for bunions and hammertoes. While shoes are not usually the cause of these conditions, they can certainly make them worse.


The attraction to high heels is clear. Aesthetically, a higher heel improves the muscle definition of your legs. They also cause you to arch your lower back, which causes some attractive enhancements to your physique. When you look good, you feel good. Be careful not to overdo it, however. Being in pain for beauty is not recommended.


Ladies, don't worry. I don't expect that the health risks will cause government to put warning labels on your favorite shoes. You'll not be relegated to cordoned off areas for high heel wearers only, nor will you feel a social stigma with wearing your high heels. For those of you looking for fashionable high heels that are better for you, check out the new shoe line by Dr. Michele Summers called 34 Minutes which will be available soon.


In the meantime, if you are finding it more difficult to wear your favorite high heels without being in pain, contact my Houston podiatry office today. Pain relief is usually just a phone call away....and don't worry, I probably won't tell you to stop wearing your shoes.



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