Can high heels damage your health?

High heels, stilettos and pumps higher than two inches are fashion staples in any woman’s shoe closet. They add height, give swagger to the walk and project a sophisticated look. But, can high heels actually damage your health? Is constant wearing of high heels detrimental to your posture and make you vulnerable to bone diseases?


Everyone knows that wearing high heels constantly is not good for your health. Just how bad walking in high heels is not really known by a lot of women who prefer fashion over comfort. However, in a study conducted by scientists in the UK, it was revealed that wearing high heels has deeper consequences on the body and posture. Here are some relevant facts backed up by scientific research on how high heels can damage your health.

  • The Journal of Experimental Biology reported that women who wore high heels consistently or at least 5x a week had shorter calf muscles.
  • Their Achilles tendons were also stiffer and thicker compared to women who wore flats.
  • High heel wearers could not flex their feet up and down a reasonable distance than those who did not wear them.
  • Calf pain is a common complaint experienced by high heel wearers especially when walking barefoot.
  • Along with pain issues, women who wear high heels are in no position to perform running or vigorous walking which involves wearing flat shoes.
  • High heels put loads of pressure on the knee increasing the chances of contracting osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a medical condition where the bones and cartilage succumb to a state of degeneration impairing the ability to move because of pain and inflammation. It affects the knees, hips, feet, and spine.
  • Wearing high heels also affects posture and changes the structure of the muscles and tendon.

What can be done

Telling women to stop wearing high heels will not really work. However, explaining high heels damage to the health can help women understand why it is necessary to give the feet a break every now and then. Providing arch support is also essential which is why it's important to find high heels that support the physiological condition of the feet. Doing some stretching exercises can also help as well as reducing the number of times you wear high heels.

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