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Dr. Spriro is a Participating Provider with the Beth Israel Lahey Physicians Organization

Potential Consequences of High Heels

Tuesday, 18 January 2022 00:00

As popular as they are, high heels can bring a variety of long-term consequences to the overall health of the feet. Because they cause strides to be shorter and with more force and cause the toes to be in a flexed position, the calf muscles can shorten and may strain easily. Also, once someone who regularly wears high heels starts wearing flat shoes, like sneakers or flip flops, there is an increased chance of injury due to the feet being placed in a new environment. A variety of conditions can be caused by regularly wearing high heels, including hammertoes, bunions, sprained ankles, bone fractures, or ligament tears. If you have been injured because of wearing high heels, or simply seek advice on avoiding injuries, it is suggested that you visit a podiatrist for more information.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from Boston Common Podiatry. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which Parts of My Body Will Be Affected by High Heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What Kinds of Foot Problems Can Develop from Wearing High Heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How Can I Still Wear High Heels and Maintain Foot Health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Boston, MA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Why High Heels Are Not Ideal for Healthy Feet
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