Women all over the world spend thousands of dollars every year on their shoes. Shoes are the perfect accessory and there is such a variety that it is hard to have just one pair. One of the sexiest shoes that really catch the eye of women, and reel them in for the bait, are high heels. These shoes are a serious fashion statement, they are the ultimate sexy, and they make a women feel so much more feminine. However, do you know what damages these high heels can cause to not only your feet, but to your entire body? Simply said, these are made for fashion, rather than for comfort, that’s for sure. But, I’m going to go into a bit more detail, just to inform you of what these types of shoes are really doing to your body.
Throughout this article, I’ll be discussing how these high-heeled shoes affect your posture, your walk, your balance, your back, your hips, your knees, your ankles, your feet, and your skin and toes. Who knew that wearing high-heeled shoes could negatively affect all these different parts of your body? I will also be discussing some key statistics, about women and their shoes, that I have found, that you may find extremely surprising.
First, I’ll start by talking about your posture. While wearing these shoes, your foot is pointing downward; therefore, there is an amplified force of stress placed on the front of your foot. This motion causes your body to adjust alignment simply to maintain balance. While wearing heels, you may find yourself almost leaning backwards, just to balance yourself. This posture is not normal, and can be very uncomfortable for most people.
Your walk is definitely affected by these shoes. Have you ever seen a women walking down the side-walk in high-heels, and they may be a little bit too high of heel for her, and it is almost as if she is limping? Well, this is because in these shoes, your foot (as mentioned above) is placed in a downward position. Therefore, while walking, you are unable to push off the ground with as much force as your would while standing flat footed.
Now your posture kind of goes in combination with your balance. As mentioned above, while wearing this type of shoe, you’re not in normal standing position; therefore, you need to adjust your body so that you are able to maintain your balance. High-heel shoes cause your foot and ankle to move in a turned outward position, and this position could cause you to roll your ankle.
Next, I’ll discuss how wearing high-heels affects your back. According to Terence Vanderheiden, D.P.M., “wearing high-heels causes lumbar (low-back) spine flattening and a posterior (backward) displacement of the head and thoracic (mid-back) spine” (About.com). Wearing high-heels causes your body to be positioned in a “leaning forward” motion, and as a natural response, you lean backwards to maintain balance. This can cause muscle overuse and back pain.
Wearing high-heels causes your hips and the muscles to work much harder and much longer in order for you to gain enough force to walk properly in high-heels. If these muscles are being over-worked, this can cause a contracture to occur.
While wearing high-heels, the knees are in a bent position and the shins are turned inward. This position places extreme stress on the knees, which can ultimately lead to osteoarthritis. According to Terence Vanderheiden, D.P.M., osteoarthritis is twice as common among women, and the wearing of high-heels may be the cause of this.
Since the high-heels place your foot in a downward position, this limits your ankle movement while walking. This can cause contractions of the calf muscles and also of the Achilles tendon. This can ultimately lead to a condition called Insertional Achilles tendonitis.
While wearing high-heels, the entire weight of your body is placed on the ball of your forefoot. This causes a lot of pressure in this area, and can damage nerves of the foot. The pressure, of course, is increased as the height of the heel increases. This can also lead to a lot of pain and also foot deformities.
Your Skin and Toes
When wearing high-heels, the skin on your feet often experiences corns, calluses, and blisters. You may also end up with bunions or a condition called “hammer toes.” Your toe nails may also develop in-grown toe nails which can result in infections. If you have ever looked at an adult’s foot and compared it to that of a baby’s it is easy to tell the difference in the damage that has been caused. On an adult’s foot, the toes are usually scrunched together, almost starting to form a point at the top of your foot. Your toes should be spread out.
Here are a few key statistics that may just get you thinking about whether or not the pain is worth the fashion. According to January W. Payne, “shoes contribute to the approximately $3.5 billion spent annually in the United States for women’s foot surgeries, which cause them to lose 15 million work days yearly” (Washington Post). It is amazing to see this statistic and realize what women are doing to their feet, and not only that, but to the rest of their body. Most women know the dangers of wearing high-heels, but no one believes that these results could happen to them.
It seems that women are always complaining that their feet hurt while wearing high-heels, so why do they continually put themselves through such pain? It’s all in the name of fashion, or for the saying “beauty is pain,” you have to suffer in order to look good. You might look and feel great about yourself for the time being, but do you really want to be living with these long-term effect and damages to your body? This is a question you must ask yourself the next time you find the perfect pair of heels that you want to purchase.