The high heel was not originally created as an accessory to wear with pencil skirts. Actually, according to Ancient Origins, the first heels – as depicted on a 9th-century Persian bowl – were created for male riders to prevent their feet from slipping off stirrups. Of course, at some point in the 1600s, women embraced the trend and the rest, as they say, is history. From tiny kitten heels to high platforms, high heels have been a staple of female wardrobes for centuries.
Obviously, the heel is not going anywhere. It is the benchmark for women’s shoes, from the meeting room to the red carpet. But although they are definitely stylish, high heels can cause major problems for both your feet and your budget.
Heels are the main culprit for millions of foot and ankle complaints across the country, but women still wear shoes with abandon. Whether you’ve noticed constant foot pain or your bank account shrinks as your shoe collection grows, understanding the true cost of high heels might be enough to make wearing your favorite shoes more of a treat than a daily occurrence. Consider the following disadvantages and dangers.
The Cost of Wearing Heels
1. Joint Pain
Unlike other types of shoes, heels have no significant shock absorption. In addition, wearing heels also prevents your foot from turning naturally when you walk, because they are forced into an upright position and without bending. According to the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons, the knee absorbs the weight of each step, which can lead to severe joint pain and an exacerbation of arthritis symptoms. Your ankle also absorbs some shock, so don’t be surprised if a long day of heels leaves your joints stiff and sore.
When you push your feet into shoes that are too tight or shoes that force your feet into artificial shapes (such as pointy shoes), you are creating pressure on the sides of your feet and toes. Over time, the friction and pushing of your favorite heels can cause the skin to harden. It may not be a big deal in winter, but next summer you may be too embarrassed to put on your strappy sandals when your feet are riddled with calluses.
3. Shortened Achilles Tendon
This could be one of the most worrying side effects of wearing heels: according to Live Science, women who wear heels for a long period of their life actually shorten their Achilles tendon. With the heel in the raised position, the heels can actually create a physiological change in the muscles and tendons around the ankles. This means that when wearing bare feet or wearing flat shoes and shoes that make the heel reach the ground, the wearer can experience immense pain and stretch.
4. Lower back pain
Each year, I participate in a hospital service where the dress code is formal. Wearing heels is a must, as is standing and visiting other participants for several hours. The next morning, my lower back still hurts. Why? The heels push your pelvis forward when you walk or stand, which puts enormous pressure on your lower back and causes persistent pain.
5. Lack of cushion
When you wear heels, the weight of your whole body is placed on the sole of your foot and your heel is used only for balance. Surprisingly, this can cause the natural padding that you have on the sole of the foot to wear out or move away. In fact, according to Elle, some plastic surgeons actually inject Botox into patients’ feet (they call it a “stiletto lift”) to add padding and make the heels more comfortable. Otherwise, without additional padding on the sole, the heels can become extremely uncomfortable and even painful.
6. Falling and sprained ankles
When you wear flat shoes, your weight is distributed evenly between the sole of the foot and the heel, with little pressure on the ankle. Unfortunately, the heels cause such an imbalance between the heel and the ball that the ankle is forced to become the fulcrum of your whole body. And, since ankles are not designed to withstand this kind of pressure, falls and bent or sprained ankles can be quite common. It’s almost impossible to balance perfectly, especially in very high heels, so any bump in the pavement can look like a 10-foot wall when you try to scale it in your favorite pumps.
7. Ingrown nails
Most heels have a pointy or almond-shaped toe, despite the fact that the end of your foot is actually more square. And it is the biggest and the smallest toes that take a lot of pressure when they rely on the sides and tip of the shoe.
High heels are dragging your feet down and crush your toes, leading to ingrown toenails. Ingrown toenails occur when the side of your nail starts growing in your flesh, and this can be very painful.
Making Heels Safer and More Wearable
Heels may not be the healthiest choice for your feet, but you don’t have to rule them out completely. Take some precautions and you can still gain a few inches without suffering the major consequences.
- Opt for a platform heel. If you’re obsessed with super high heels, choose a pair that also includes a platform at the front of the shoe.
This provides the appearance of high heels, but lifts the ball of the foot as well as the heel, putting less pressure on the ball overall. A three-inch heel with a one-inch platform looks more like two inches.
- Choose a brand of comfort. Thanks to innovation in shoes, it is possible to find a pair of heels that are both comfortable and comfortable. Designer Cole Haan has teamed up with Nike to create a line of comfortable heels, while comfort brands like Clarks, Naturalizer, Aerosoles, and Sofft offer stylish pumps that won’t make your feet hurt entirely.
Just be aware that comfortable and comfortable heels are often more expensive than their strictly stylized counterparts. Expect to pay $ 75 to $ 100 for an everyday pair.
There is no substitute for how the heels do to your legs or what they make you feel when you wear them. But if your long days in heels are sore and tired, it may be time to trade in your high heels for something a little more comfortable. After all, a life of knee pain and sore ankles is not worth the latest shoe trend. However, if you have to wear your vertiginous pumps, do it carefully and in small doses, and you will not suffer the harmful effects of fashion.
How to make wearing heels more comfortable?