high heels | high heels and foot pain by an Albuquerque podiatrist Podiatrists think high heels are terrible.  Fashion designers think that high heels are wonderful. Who is right? Answer: the podiatrist (in most cases)

When high heels or platform shoes were invented, the purpose was to increase height and status, especially with European nobility. These shoes were not made to make you walk better or more comfortably. As technology advanced, so did the ability to make stilettos and mass produce a wide variety of high heeled shoes. Today, high heels are ubiquitous and in mainstream fashion and women are literally pressured into wearing them.

The History of High Heels

Why do women and fashion designers like them?  High heels force the center of gravity up and forward, causing imbalance. The body compensates for this unnatural instability by tightening the calf muscles, flexing the lower back down pushing out the buttocks, which then in turn forces the chest out and ultimately makes you taller.  The benefits need no further discussion.  The risks, however, do.

High Heels and Foot Pain

High heels are more likely to cause osteoarthritis (25% increase in knee stress), bunion deformities, hammertoe deformities, neuromas (painful squished nerves) and painful corns. Sprained ankles, bad posture, and back pains are also higher because of them.  In short, heels are bad. Nine out of 10 podiatrists would not recommend them and the only 1 out of the 10 was likely asked the question late on a Saturday night.

Janet Simon
Experienced Albuquerque podiatrist specializing in preventing and treating foot and ankle pain.
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