There are probably not too many people that would debate the fact that one of the sexiest looks on a woman is to see her walking around in a pair of high heeled shoes. The flip side to this coin is that while it may be an aesthetically-pleasing look, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the healthiest one. Of course, watching five-inch stilettos complete the outfit of a burlesque dancers Miami performance probably has you too distracted to consider the fact that if we were all meant to walk at an angle, we’d probably be born with an elevated heel on the back of our foot.
Effect of High Heels on the Body
Actually, that within itself should cause women to think about how often they wear high-heeled shoes, but the truth of the matter is that there are passionate opinions on both sides as to whether they can be worn all of the time or if they should be worn at all. In coming to your own conclusion, it’s a good idea to keep in mind that one legitimate fact is that high heels put pressure on the center of the body. As a result, it automatically causes a person to walk forward and causes the spine and hips to be shifted out of their natural alignment.
Long-term, this can lead to many physical challenges and inconveniences. Because high heels compromise one’s balance, aside from increasing the risk of falling, it can also cause strain on the ankles. This means that you make yourself more vulnerable to experiencing an ankle sprain or fracture. Another potential problem to consider is a medical condition known as metatarsalgia, which in Laymen’s terms means an incessant cramping in the metatarsal bone region of the foot. High heels can cause this because of the imbalanced weight distribution that they bring throughout the body.
There are a few other problems that high heels can be a factor of. Studies reveal that about 30% of people in various Western countries have found themselves with bunions. Bunions are an abnormality of the big toe. It usually develops due to the pressure that comes from the big toe and second toe constantly being pushed together. The reason why high heels are often the ones to blame, is because the design of the shoe oftentimes squeezes the first and second toes together. The thing about a bunion is that it cannot be ignored. An untreated bunion, over time, may result in a person needing surgery.
Another physical condition that can be aggravated by high heel wearing is a phrase known as “hammer toe”. This is when very thick (and deep) calluses form on different pressure points of the feet and toes over time. Not only are these painful, but they can also be unsightly and even damaging to your shoes. As a matter of fact, the bumps that you sometimes see through people’s pumps? Yeah, that’s probably thanks to hammer toe.
There is another foot problem term that can be attributed to walking inches above the ground. It’s known as “pump bump”, which is the result of straps of high heeled sandals that can irritate the back of the heel. Without the heels getting any relief (a break from the straps), this can bring about a condition known as Haglund’s deformity, which is a bony enlargement that grows on the heel.
Final Thoughts on High Heels
So when the question is asked, “Are high heels bad for your feet?” there are definitely examples here to indicate that they bring about certain risk factors. Perhaps the better question is, “Should I wear high heels all of the time?” and honestly, the answer from many medical professionals would be a resounding “no”.
If heels are all that you own, the thought of going without them a few days a week may be hard to imagine, but the truth is that it’s better for your feet and there are wonderful fashion-forward alternatives. In the colder months, boots are always eye-catching and in the warmer seasons, a pair of wedge sandals or pattern-print flats are extremely attractive.
At least take all of this information into consideration. High heels are definitely nice to look at, but just think about how a well-balanced pair of shoes will make you feel!