Shoes with heels can cause back pain and more.

High Heels…The Tool of the Devil

Comfort???? I think not!!! But ohhh so pretty.

 I know they are pretty, come in many colors, styles, and heel heights but I think high heels are the tool of the devil invented by men to keep us from running fast. Well maybe that is an over exaggeration on the men part but they certainly are a tool of the devil.

I have a closet full of heels and boots that I occasional choose to torture myself by wearing. They make a dress look great, your legs longer and your butt look better, and when you look down they can be sparkly and ohhh so pretty.  They hurt! Within an hour your toes start to ache, followed by the balls of your feet, then your lower back kicks in and starts talking loudly, and finally if you are as lucky as me,  hours after they have come off your feet you get calf and foot cramps so bad that you wake up swearing and begging to god to have it stop. Now that is not an exaggeration.

Why you ask do I wear them? Vanity. Plain and simple. I want to look good and keep up with the other ladies with the pretty little sparkly shoes.

According to an article I read in a massage magazine twisted ankles, sore feet and musculoskeletal problems are directly related to high heels….seriously…..they did a study on this?? The American Podiatric Medical Association found that 50% of American women wear high heels (not every day) and 71% say their high heels hurt their feet….again seriously they did a study on this….

The fact that money was spent on this baffles me, but let me get to my point.

Wearing heels is not a natural position for the foot. Along with cramping your toes, it puts your foot into a plantarflexed position (toes pointed down) which then shortens your Achilles tendon. Over time, being in this pointed/shortened position can keep those tendons stuck in that position increasing your risk of injuries.   Then there is your body alignment.  You are taking your skeletal support system out of its natural stacked position and leaning it forward (Think of a tall thin bookcase with a couple inches of shims put under the back edge). You lean forward unnaturally and your muscles need to put you in an upright position (and the fight begins with gravity). You end up with sore lower backs, necks, legs etc.  Over time if you wear heels on a regular basis it can even affect your bone density.   (Journal of Biomechanics. 2009 Jul 20; Biomechanics 2007: 40(6): 1246-55. Epub 2006 Aug 2.)  Katy Bowman, MS has written a book all about feet, shoes, and women in high heels I find it fascinating (but I am a geek). If you are interested read her stuff.

This is what I have seen in my office. Ladies who have worn heels often and for a long time have feet that stay in a pointed position, have incredibly tight calves and are uncomfortable in flats. I see an increase in foot and calf pain from flip flops too. I hear complaints about plantar fasciitis pain, sore backs, and leg pain. Years ago when I worked selling shoes the worst bunions I saw were on older ladies who had been wearing pointy heels for years (= ugly feet).

We all have our reasons for why we do it. All I know is it is not natural or good for our feet or body. I think we ladies need to start a revolution and go barefoot or wear flats all the time. Pretty sparkly heels be damned!