Tuesday, 13 February 2024 00:00

Biomechanical Impact of Wearing High Heels

High heels significantly impact walking, with notable effects on gait, biomechanics, and control. Wearing high heels can alter the way people walk in several ways, presenting valuable insights for both designers and podiatrists. The primary changes observed in high-heel walking encompass alterations in the foot's rollover function, modifications in ankle and knee joint dynamics, and shifts in lower back posture, accompanied by compromised step length and balance. The heightened heel height forces the foot into an increased plantar flexion, which, in turn, augments knee flexion and causes an increased curvature of the lower back. Understanding the biomechanical adjustments associated with high heel-wearing is vital for designing more comfortable and less detrimental footwear, in addition to addressing potential musculoskeletal issues arising from prolonged use. If you enjoy wearing high heels and want to continue wearing them while paying attention to your feet and body, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist to discuss this topic further.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from Lakeside Foot and Ankle Center. Our practitioners can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which Parts of My Body Will Be Affected by High Heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What Kinds of Foot Problems Can Develop from Wearing High Heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How Can I Still Wear High Heels and Maintain Foot Health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Leesburg and The Villages, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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