Hell On Heels


Let�s face it, women love heels. Even if we don�t wear heels often, there�s something about slipping on a pair that makes us feel great. High heels just scream glamour and fashion. Heels make us stand a little taller, and give us a confidence boost. Maybe we�re so infatuated with heels because we faithfully watched Carrie Bradshaw hunt down pairs of Manolos on several seasons of Sex and the City. Whatever the reason, we�re definitely hooked. But one thing Carrie didn't tell us was what years of wearing those heels could do to our bodies.

That impression of being taller, elongated, and feeling differently about how we carry ourselves isn’t just a feeling; it’s what really happens when we wear high heels. According to The Washington Post, there are numerous potential injuries that can come with wearing heels too often. First off, heels change our posture completely (hence that feeling you carry yourself differently when wearing a pair). It pushes our center forward, which leads to our hips and spine being out of the straight alignment both are supposed to be in. This change in posture also leads to increase pressure on our knees as we walk. One study found that there could be as much as a 26% increase in pressure when we wear heels.

It�s not just the pressure on our bodies that can be bad. Due to the angle of our feet and the height of the heels, calf muscles must contract to adjust. The Achilles tendon also tightens. If this occurs too often, the muscles and tendon can eventually shorten permanently causing extreme pain.

These are some of the more extreme cases. Thanks to the cramped toe space, there can be a thickening of tissue between toes, which can lead to pain and numbness. There are also things like bunions, hammertoe, and metatarsalgia that can happen to our feet not to mention just plain old ankle injuries from tripping or missing a step, especially in towering stilettos.

What would happen if we were to fast-forward into somebody like Carrie’s later life? Perhaps we would see her hobbling down the street in pain wearing orthopedic shoes or maybe she wouldn’t be able to walk at all because of the damage she’d done to her body. We’ve been fed this image of high heels being sexy and stylish by the fashion industry yet those same sources didn’t tell us the real cost of being a little bit taller.

So ladies, wear those sky-high heels with caution. Take that pair off throughout the day, slip on a different version to and from work or just save those heels for a special night out. A moment of looking cute isn’t worth a lifetime of pain.

Images courtesy of Emilys-blog.thegraceship.com, Thegirlwhocriedglitter.blogspot.com 

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