High heels may be stylish, but unfortunately they are not ideal for the health of your feet or ankles. Frequently wearing high heels can lead to sore calves, foot pain, weakened ligaments, and deformed toes. These problems are magnified if the shoes are also ill-fitting, too tight, unsupportive, or have a narrow toe box. High heels may also increase your risk of incurring an ankle sprain or falling. Further up in the body, wearing high heels may lead to knee pain, lower back pain, and changes to your posture over time. Even with the risks mentioned, if you don’t want to permanently ban high heels from your shoe closet there are things you can do to lower your chances of foot pain, deformity, and injury. Wear high heels less frequently, choose shoes that fit properly and have a wide low heel, as well as plenty of room in the toe area to wiggle your toes. For more information about the relationship between footwear and proper foot health, please consult with a podiatrist.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact the foot specialists from NYC Foot & Ankle Center. 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 New York . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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