High Heels and Women’s Health

High heels are high on a man’s list of things women wear that makes them more attractive. Women, too, love the sex appeal of a high-heeled shoe, but what is the price women pay for keeping up appearances in this way?

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Below is a look at the common disadvantages and the little-known advantages to wearing high heels that you might find interesting.

The Bad Seems to Outweigh the Good

According to medical experts, wearing heels forces women to stand and walk in awkward postures that eventually lead to pain and injuries in the back, knees, hips, legs and feet. High heels place the majority of a woman’s weight on the balls of her feet, causing her to arch her back and lean forward to keep balance.

This unnatural stance puts the spine out of proper alignment and changes the way a woman walks – which may appear sexy at first, but will eventually change her posture and style of walking long after she’s put her last pair of high heels on the shelf.

High heels cause unsightly corns, calluses, and bunions – not to mention, shortened calves over a period of time after continual use. So a young woman may go for years prancing about in high heels without any problems, but years down the line – or in some cases, even sooner – she may start to experience aches and ailments typically experienced by an elderly woman that could’ve been prevented with just a few changes in her fashion wardrobe.

Any Advantages?

High heels can relieve heel and arch pain often experienced by women after pregnancy or weight gain. They take pressure off those painful areas and move it to the ball of the foot.

Though calves may shorten over time (if the same heel height is worn and it’s worn very often), high heels do give the legs an elongated appearance and add muscle tone to calf muscles.

What’s a Gal to Do?

There is some hope for those shoe lovers out there who just can’t seem to live without their shoes. To counteract some of the cons associated with wearing heels, try these tips so you can still enjoy them on occasion:

  • Don’t wear them everyday. In fact, think of them like you should think of your favorite dessert. You know it’s bad for you, so you only indulge in it once a week or on special occasions.
  • Wear orthotics so your feet don’t slip inside your shoes; you’ll have more control and you’re less likely to trip.
  • If your job requires professional wear, go for flats and low heels (kitten heels are short, but elegant and fashionable) – and only wear them in the office on soft, carpeted floors. Break out your sneakers or comfy flats when commuting or walking outdoors on lunch breaks.
  • It might help to wear heels of different heights at different times of the day to stretch muscles and tendons. The highest heel should be 2 ½ inches tall for less muscle strain and pressure to the balls of your feet, back, knees and hips.
  • You should also avoid very thin heels, which don’t provide nearly enough support for your heels and ankles, can easily cause a woman to strain or sprain her ankle (if her shoe gets caught in the sidewalk or she trips somehow) because of the imbalance they tend to cause. Instead, go for chunky heels, wedges or platform shoes, which give more stability.
  • Stay tuned to the fashion world, ladies, as new technologies are constantly evolving to make high heels more ergonomically correct, more comfortable and assuage some of the complaints and problems associated with wearing heels.

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