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High Heels- The Side Effects You Never Knew

Posted on Jan 9, 2016

I recently saw an article in the Nigerian Guardian Life Magazine about high heels and it got me thinking. We have written guidelines for wearing a a midi dress and in that article, we pointed out how wearing high heel shoes is better for midi lengths because they make your legs appear longer, give you a better appearance, etc. The Guardian article called them ‘Beautiful Killers’.

Hillary Brenner a podiatrist (leg/feet doctor) said they call wearing high heel shoes shoe-icide. Even with all these, some women will not be caught dead on anything but outrageously high heels, the type that some of us can get woozy on. You can’t really blame them because some dresses look outright ugly if you wear anything but heels with them though, this is one of the many reasons women wear them.

Nevertheless, medical professionals say fashion or no fashion, these shoes can pose serious health problems, some of them permanent. These are some of the health issues you could face.

    1. Wearing narrow shoes can cause nerve damage.
    2. They can cause injury to your leg muscles.
    3. Bunions- a bony growth that deforms the big toe. High heels won’t cause this but will make it worse.
Source:bodiempowerment.com You should probably read their article on how to treat bunions

Source:bodiempowerment.com You should probably read their article on how to treat bunions

  1. Calluses and Corns- thick skin around your toes and the sides of your feet.
  2. Pump Bump or Haglunds deformity- is the inflammation you find at the back of your heels. It is caused by rubbing your heels against the hard part of your shoes.
  3. Hammertoes- is when your toes especially the second, bends and refuses to straighten even when you are not wearing shoes.
  4. Morton’s neuroma- is the swelling on the sole of your feet between the third and fourth toes.
  5. Shrinkage of the Achilles tendon. The tendon is the muscle that runs from your calf to your ankle.
  6. Hairline fracture.
  7. Metatargalsia- the pain on the top of your feet just before the toes.

Basically what happens is when your heels are raised, you loose the natural balance that comes with having them flatly balanced. You then push yourself forward to gain some of it back. Doing that, strains your spine which causes your back some discomfort and pain and of course pressure to your feet.

I will just get back to wearing flat shoes. Umm, sorry to burst your bubbles on that one. (do forgive the cliché). The thing is when you raise your heels, you tighten your Achilles tendon and getting them to relax again causes some more pain. Anyway, you need to wear heels continuously over a long period of time to get your tendons to tighten and shorten.

Should I Forget About High Heels Altogether?

No and we are not trying to scare you either. We only want you to be aware of the problems you could face when you wear high heel shoes all the time. We understand your frustration too, some dresses must be worn with them to pull off a certain look. What is a girl to do?

Luckily, there are some little habits that will reduce the problems you might end up with. So here they go.

  1. Wear heels moderately. Do not make them your everyday foot wear. Ensure you only wear them when it is absolutely necessary. Do not wear heels if you do not own a car. If you will be taking public transport then wear comfortable shoes, when you get to your destination, switch shoes. This will reduce the pressure you will be placing on your heels.
  2. Try not to wear very high heels, 1.5 inches at most. You know why? When you wear shoes that are 1 inch high, you reduce the pressure by 22%, 2 inches and it goes up to 57%, 3 inches, 75%. Do the math for 4, 5 and 6 inches.
  3. Do not make your daughters wear high heel shoes from an early age; they will quickly develop medical issues.
  4. Wear shoes that are not too narrow. You don’t want your toes to form an unnatural shape. This way, you will be giving your toes some room to move around.
  5. Choose heels that are bigger. Stilettos should be worn sparingly. Larger heels spread your weight around. In this case, wedges come to mind. Some women like wedges because they still maintain their balance. So a wedge that is 1.5 inches high, not too narrow and worn moderately will probably not give you some of these problems.
  6. Try to wear shoes that are your size. You don’t want to leave room for your legs to push forward and force your toes to carry all your weight.
  7. If you have pains around your toes or have calluses, then you can go for open toe shoes. They will relieve your toes of some pain.
  8. Do some stretches, they are good for your toes, heels and calf. Another suggestion is to try to pick up a pencil with your toes.
  9. You can buy pads for your shoes. They do a good job of cushioning your feet.
  10. A Canadian shoe manufacturer has made shoes with adjustable heels. You could wear high heels shoes and detach the heels when they get uncomfortable.

Saw this image somewhere, can’t remember where and thought I should share. Although it is pretty funny, it sort of wraps up everything nicely in a serious way.


So what is your take on wearing heels? Is it a do or die affair for you?

What Do You Think?

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