High Heel Health Hazard

   By drodriguez  Jul 18, 2010

The next time you decide you just have to have that cute pair of high heel shoes you may want to consider the health risks. A new study that recently came out shows that women who wear high heels suffer from several types of health problems later in life.  

NPR reports about the British study recently published in the Journal of Experimental Biology.  Author of the study, Marco Narici, finds that women who wear high heels often experience “a 13 percent shortening of calf muscles and a marked thickening of the Achilles...”  The condition is being related to the same way bed-ridden patients tend to get muscle-atrophy. With this condition, women who wore high heels throughout most of their adult life find it hard to stand flat on the floor without experiencing discomfort.

Biomechanics expert, Casey Kerrigan, believes women should toss the high heel shoes flat out.  Kerrigan led a Harvard University study about high heels which found that the fashionable shoe is the cause of high rates of knee arthritis in older women.  Kerrigan says, “It’s not worth it.  We’re living long enough that all of us are going to get arthritis and anything you can do to minimize the severity is a good thing.”  And if arthritis isn’t bad enough, heels can also be blamed for injuries like sprained ankles and conditions such as bunions, hammer-toes, and nerve damage.

But not every expert is demanding the shoe be trashed.  Orthopedic surgeon, Donald Bohay, believes women can continue wearing high heels as long as they are not bigger than 2 inches.  Bohay warns women to be sensible about their heels and not wear a shoe that is uncomfortable. Many believe following this advice may prove difficult when celebrities like Lady GaGa and famous models strut their stuff in massive stilettos.

What do you think of the latest research finding high heels to be detrimental to your health?

Will you continue wearing high heels even though they may cause damage later on?

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vintagepurple by vintagepurple | VISALIA, CA
Sep 08, 2010

yeah you mayget arthritis but i also read a study high heels totally strangthen your vanginal muscles so really it all works out ;-)

stargazer534 by stargazer534 | louisville, TN
Aug 28, 2010

I totally agee, as I have foot issues, and need comfortale shoes, because of this, I love shoes, and I do want to feelcomfortable in whatever I do wear, and not risk n injury that might me with me for life!

redshoesnob42 by redshoesnob42 | Portland, OR
Aug 27, 2010

I have been wearing high heels almost every day since I was 12. Not going to stop now. Arthritis is going to come any way, so you may as well wear what you want. I'm over 40 and I work out and take care of myself. No body gets out alive, enjoy your shoes!

stephaniepainter by stephaniepainter | Church Point , LA
Aug 17, 2010

I used to wear high heels everyday. Then because of them I had a bone spur start. A piece of my bone came off on the top of my foot from wearing high heels! It was so painful I had to have it removed! Since then I choose lower heels or flip flops... I have learned my lesson big time!

Beekah by Beekah | Wilder, ID
Aug 11, 2010

I love wearing heels, I mean I don't that often but I love how they give me poise and they make my legs look good. I understand that if you were to wear them every day for years some health issues could arise, hence the saying, "Beauty is pain." I think it is safe to keep wearing heels but to remember that going a few days without won't be the end of the world.

Jenny824 by Jenny824 | Jacksonville, FL
Aug 03, 2010

I can't wear high heels for more than 30 minutes at a time and walking a lot...forget about that. I am only 21, but still they make my feet hurt. It is not worth it.

jameslicex0 by jameslicex0 | Wayne, MI
Aug 03, 2010

I love my heels! However... I'm 22 and can already feel my body slouching forward while wearing them. It is almost like a balancing act sometimes. Although, I have to say, after wearing heels from 9-5, 5 days a week, it feels funny to get home and put on flip flops or some other flat; I feel like I have ZERO support and walking on such a flat surface actually makes my legs more tense and buckle. I wouldn't give up my heels for anything!

Andielovesyou9 by Andielovesyou9 | El Paso, TX
Aug 01, 2010

I leave my high heels for dinner dates or parties (where I will be taking my shoes off), that way I have the look without having to wear them long term because it really does mess your feet up!

TamiLee09 by TamiLee09 | Hampstead, MD
Aug 01, 2010

After being out opf the corporate world for a year, I dread putting on heels. Give me a comfortable pair of flip flops or tennis shoes and I am a happy person. I am still trying to find the comfortable flat that everyone says is out there!

oldbag by oldbag | STATEN ISLAND, NY
Jul 29, 2010

Long live stilettos!!! I would be one sad lady if all the world were flat!

marip1 by marip1 | RACINE, WI
Jul 26, 2010

I have been wearing high heels for years everyday. Their 2 inch heels. I find them comfortable to wear. Anything higher then that then their uncomfortable. So far I don't have any trouble with my feet.

danidudack by danidudack | Branford, CT
Jul 25, 2010

High heels make your body work in a way that is unnatural so stress is put into your feet and ankles which also effects everything else...knees, legs, back...I would suggest getting a stylish basic pair of no more than 2 inch heels. I also have found flats to wear with dress pants with the pointed toe and no one knows there are no heels because they look like they are. Feet are the most important thing because they have nerves in them that affect all the parts of the body...you can find out more by looking up reflexology.

Teresmith by Teresmith | Wichita, KS
Jul 24, 2010

In the last year, I've lost almost 60 lbs. I now wear a lot of skinny jeans and high heels. I get Dr. Scholls inserts for the heels which seen to do the trick.

scatus by scatus | nevada, IA
Jul 23, 2010

I love the look of high heels, but my feet don't like them!! On very few occasions have I worn them, and when I do I pay for it for days it seems!! This report does not surprise me at all, it really is shocking to see a 13% shortening of the calf muscle, that is enough to justify me not wearing them anymore!!! LOL

ForeShoppers by ForeShoppers | Madison Heights, VA
Jul 23, 2010

I love wearing heels, but I find that I pay for it the next day if they are over 2 inches. I found that if I alternate wearing heels one day, flats the next, heels the next, flat the next, etc. I don't have as much soreness in my feet. I think we need more cute (COMFORTABLE) flats!