For hundreds of years women have been wearing high heel shoes. They have been a symbol of fashion, professionalism, and high class. Women wear these types of shoes on a regular basis despite complaining about how uncomfortable the shoes are and despite the pain that they cause. After all, beauty is pain, right? Well, what women might not realize is just how bad high heels are for one’s body. Not only can high heels affect your feet, but they actually can affect many other parts of your body that you didn’t even realize. In fact, a lot of the pain and discomfort women experience throughout their bodies might all come back to the high heels they wear. And, the higher the heel, the more damage they are likely to cause. Whether you wear high heels on a daily basis or just for special occasions, you could be hurting your body. The best way to minimize the affect high heels have on your body is to not wear them at all or at least to only wear them for short periods of time. After seeing all the damage that high heels could cause to your body, you might want to rethink before buying another pair.
Increased pressure on your feet-wearing high heels increases the amount of pressure you are putting on the front of your feet because the slant of the shoe makes you shift all of your weight onto your toes and the balls of your feet. When wearing a flat shoe, your weight is equally distributed over your whole foot, but once you put your foot in a high heel, all the weight has to go somewhere. Normally, your feet serve as shock absorbers to protect your skeleton while you are walking. However, when wearing heels, your feet cannot serve this function because only one part of your foot is taking all of the shock instead of your entire foot.
14 Nerve and bone damage
Normally, when we walk, our feet have a natural transition from heel to toe, but when we wear heels, we are only walking on our toes and the front of our feet, so the normal walking pattern is disturbed. Because of this unnatural way heels cause you to walk, it could cause nerve and bone damage. The more you walk in this unnatural way, the more likely you are to incur bone or nerve damage. Whatever your reason is for wearing high heel shoes, you need to consider if that reason is worth possibly damaging your nerves and bones. You could be damaging them without even realizing it because the damage will happen gradually.
13 Spider veins
High heeled shoes could cause spider veins if you were them a lot. This is because circulation to your lower limbs could be cut off from the way your ankles are forced to bend forward when you are wearing heels. If you are wearing high heels to look good, you might want to reconsider because you will not like the way your legs look when you have spider veins. Spider veins are unsightly and really stick out of your legs. While spider veins are not harmful, they could make you feel self-conscious because of their purple, blue, or red discoloration.
12 The shortening of calf and ankle tendons
Walking in heels can eventually cause your calf and ankle tendons to shorten, which will make walking in anything painful. This is because heels make your Achilles tendon to stiffen, which makes your calves bunch. Your Achilles tendon keeps your calf muscles attached to your heels, but when the tendon stiffens, your calves will bunch. You can temporarily fix the stiffening by taking your shoes off and flexing your feet throughout the day. However, in the long run, this will not prevent your tendons from shortening. Once your tendons are shortened, you will experience pain whenever you walk whether you’re in heels or not.
11 Extra stress on your knees
Frequently wearing high heels can cause extra stress on the inner parts of your knees, which could lead to osteoarthritis down the road. Wearing heels frequently abuses your knees and can wear your knees down, causing osteoarthritis. Like your feet, your knees are supposed to absorb shocks too, but when you wear heels, you are forcing your knees to work harder. Even though knees are made to handle a lot of pressure, constant high heel use is too much pressure for your body’s key joint. Wearing high heels a lot now could lead to osteoarthritis, something you will have to live with for a long time.
10 Lower back pain
Many women experience lower back pain, but did you know the cause of your back pain might be coming from the shoes you wear? Heels cause lower back pain because of the way your spine unnaturally sways while walking in them. You are putting a lot of stress on your back by wearing heels. To avoid back pain, you should only wear really high heels on special occasions. You should also limit the time you spend in high heels to only a couple hours at one given time. You also should not wear heels day after day. Instead, you should alternate by wearing a comfortable shoe the day after wearing heels.
9 Calluses and corns
Unsightly and painful calluses and corns on your feet are probably caused from the heels you wear on a regular basis. Corns are formed when keratin builds up and forms a hard bump on your skin. These are caused from the extra pressure you are putting on the skin of your feet. Calluses and corns might be the least of your problems that will arise when you wear heels, but they are still really gross. No one likes to have ugly feet, so why wear a type of shoe that is more than likely going to cause calluses and corns?
8 Achilles tendinitis
Not only can high heels cause your Achilles tendon to tighten, but they can actually cause Achilles tendinitis, which is caused from the tightening of the Achilles tendon. This is likely to occur when you take off your heels. That is because your Achilles tendon will stretch out once you take your shoes off because it was unable to stretch while you were in heels. Achilles tendinitis is a painful condition that can be caused in a number of ways, but not wearing heels is an easy way to prevent the painful condition from occurring. Your Achilles tendon is an important part of your foot. Do you really want to take the chance of injuring it just to wear heels?
7 Plantar fasciitis
Plantar Fasciitis is the inflammation and pain of your planta fascia, which is a thick tissue at the bottom part of your foot. With plantar fasciitis, you will experience severe and sharp pain in your heel. The only way to treat plantar fasciitis is to be aggressive. Sometimes it can be treated with oral steroids or anti-inflammatories. However, a lot of times it has to be treated with crutches, walking boots, or even cortisone shots. This painful condition could be avoided by wearing flat, wide shoes, but some women would rather get shots regularly than stop wearing their high heels.
6 Pressure ulcers
Because your weight is shifted to the ball of your foot when you wear heels, you could develop pressure ulcers beneath the ball of the foot. Pressure ulcers should be treated, especially if you have diabetes because pressure ulcers can become dangerous for diabetes patients. If diabetes patients do not treat their pressure ulcers, they could end up needing a foot amputation. Other serious foot injuries could occur if patients don’t seek treatment. The likeliness of this happening might be miniscule, but do you really want to leave it to chance just to wear high heels? All women should reconsider wearing heels, especially diabetes patients.
Wearing heels makes you tired because your muscles have to work harder. After wearing heels for a long period of time, your body, not just your feet, may feel tired. Your muscles have to work harder because heels put your body in an unnatural position and so your body has a harder time moving forward. Your feet, calves, knees, hips, and lower back all have to work harder when you wear heels, which makes your whole body tired. If you wear heels to work and notice that you are always tired after a long day of work, it might not be the work that is making you tired. It might actually be the unnecessary work you are making your body do by wearing heels.
4 Changes your body’s alignment
This includes changing the shape of your spine. When you wear heels, your lower back arches in a way that it is not used to. The higher the heel you wear, the more you will unnaturally arch your back. This unnatural curve of your spine could cause lower and upper back pain. Your lower back is most affected by your heels, and your lower back can really become curved. You could also notice that you are unintentionally leaning backwards because your back has developed a backward lean. The way your pelvis moves is also affected by wearing heels. All of these can affect the natural alignment of your body. When this alignment changes, you are likely to experience back pain.
3 Sprained ankle
Since high heels do not offer much support and are wobbly, it would not take much for a woman to lose her balance or trip, which could result in a sprained ankle. Women have a hard enough time balancing in high heels, and then when you throw uneven sidewalks and potholes into the mix, women in heels become an accident waiting to happen. The best way for women to protect themselves from potential sprained ankles while wearing heels is to wear a more supportive show while walking to their destination, and then changing shoes once they get there. If you walk to work, wear tennis shoes while you walk and carry your heels with you.
2 Broken blood vessels
Blood vessels in your foot can break from a lack of blood flow to your foot. Blood is stopped from going to your feet because of the way heels unnaturally position your feet. When you wear heels, your feet are forced to change their natural shape so that they fit into the shoe. Heels force your feet into being much narrower than they are, and your toes are squeezed into a very small space. All of this contributes to the lack of blood flow to your feet. The lack of blood flow is not a guarantee that your blood vessels will burst, but it is a very real possibility.
1 Crooked feet
Remember when I said that wearing heels forces your feet to take on a shape that is unnatural? Well, after years of wearing heels your misshaped foot could become permanent even when you’re not wearing heels. If you have a grandmother who wore heels a lot, take a look at her feet and you will probably see that they appear to be crooked. When you’re older, your feet will most likely also be sore most of the time because years of high heel use caused the bones in your feet to become misshaped. The shoes you wear right now for fashion could be the reason for your ugly feet in the future.