How Your High Heels Are Wreaking Havoc on Your Feet

High heels can make your outfit and legs look fabulous. But your feet pay a price for your choice of shoes. Women who wear high heels can develop progressive and sometimes irreversible foot problems.

Podiatrists Michael Tran, DPM, and Scott Floyd, DPM, at AllCare Foot & Ankle Center, located in Arlington and Dallas, Texas, want you to look, but more importantly, feel your best. We may not be able to convince you to throw your heels out, but we can explain how they are wreaking havoc on your feet.

The physics of feet

In relation to the size of your body, feet are comparatively tiny appendages that let you move and remain balanced. Your feet take the full impact of your weight with each step, hop, and jump. 

Your feet can accomplish those acts because they are loaded with one-quarter of the bones in your body, and more than 100 ligaments, tendons, and muscles. All of those different components function together so you can stand, walk, and run.

Cascading problems

When one small area of your foot becomes compromised, your entire foot can be affected. For instance, if you bruise one toe, you might favor that toe and place more pressure on surrounding areas. Your gait could get out of whack, and your hips might end up hurting too.

High heels are far more destructive than a small bruise on your toe. When you walk, your heel is meant to hit the ground first, and then the rest of your foot should slowly roll up to the balls of your feet. When you wear stilettos, your heel can’t strike the ground first, and your foot can’t roll in a natural way. 

Also, high heels distribute your weight improperly, increasing the load on your forefoot by as much as 75%. In addition to causing foot pain, this odd weight distribution can create issues in your knees, ankles, hips, and lower back. 

Heels also can cause ingrown toenails and contribute to the development of bunions and hammertoes. In extreme cases, heels can cause tiny stress fractures, which eventually lead to arthritis. 

Steps you can take toward foot health

If we had our wish, you’d never wear heels. But, wearing sneakers with that little black dress isn’t a good look. That said, you can minimize the damage a pair of stilettos can cause. 

First, lower your heel’s height, wear wedges that provide more stability, and choose platform heels that lift without torturing your foot. If you must wear heels, buy thin, custom orthotics to help mitigate damage to your feet.

Still, flats are best for your feet. Flats come in so many colors and styles that you should be able to match them with any outfit. 

If you have more questions about how high heels can wreak havoc on your feet or how we can help you with damage already done, make an appointment with our podiatrists by calling our office most convenient for you or scheduling a visit online today.

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