Are High Heels Safe For Your Feet?


High-heeled shoes are an everyday staple in most women’s closets. Although they add height and glamor to your outfit, they can have devastating long-term effects on your feet. According to the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society, 90% of women wear too-small shoes. Combined with the damage high heels can cause, the pain and discomfort can add up. Let’s take a closer look.

Common Problems That Can Occur from Wearing High Heels

  • Achilles tendonitis: People who frequently wear high-heeled shoes cause excessive pressure on the Achilles tendon at the back of their heel. This tendon can become shorter from wearing high heels, adversely affecting the calf muscles.
  • Foot neuromas: Morton’s neuroma is a condition where nerves become irritated and inflamed, often exacerbated by tightly fitting shoes that squeeze the metatarsal bones together.
  • Foot deformities: Having your toes compressed in the small space at the front of high-heeled shoes can contribute to excessive stress. This pressure often leads to hammertoes and bunions.

Solutions For Your Pain

We know that women may not be willing or able to give up wearing high heels altogether. Fortunately, here are a few suggestions for minimizing the problems stemming from high heels:

  • Keep the maximum heel height under two inches to relieve some of the stress on the lower legs and ankles.
  • Make sure the shoe fits properly in all of the areas of the feet, including the toes and heel.
  • Whenever possible, alternate high heels with lower, flatter shoes.
  • Choose a high-heeled shoe that is made for walking.
  • Limit the amount of time you wear high heels to 3 hours.

Dr. Ryan L. D’Amico, Dr. Donal M. Erickson, Dr. Keith Sherman, Dr. Anne-Louise Smith, Dr. Justin Muser, and the rest of the staff at Syracuse Podiatry in East Syracuse, New York, can help treat and care for your feet. Call us at 315-446-3668 or make an appointment online to get help today.

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