The Dangers of High Heels That You Should Know

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dangers of high heels

dangers of high heels

Many women admire heels because they are fashionable. However, they’re certainly not comfortable. You hear women say how these take them to new heights yet can’t go the distance in them. These are high heels. These shoes have made their appearance in the circles of style since WWII. Although the height of the heel may change from season to season, as well as the shape, high heels always find a way of stepping into the latest fashion trends. And despite all the moaning and groaning that occurs after spending a day in them, new pairs have a tendency to walk into our closets. As innocent and fashionable as they may seem, people often times fail notice the dangers of high heels.



The Dangers Of High Heels


The sad truth is that the dangers of high heels are not a laughing matter. And this danger is present even without experiencing the occasional heel suddenly breaking off mid-stride. Many already know that wearing high heels temporarily causes discomfort, but dressing in them over time leads to several negative, long-term health consequences. Learn why it’s important to keeping your feet healthy so you can always put your best foot forward.


How the heels stack up

dangers of heels stacking up

Despite what the media portrays, not all women wear high heels. In fact, 28% of women never wear them and prefer flatter shoes. While the majority of women have put on a pair of these unfriendly shoes at some point in their lives, most don’t make a daily habit of it. The majority of women who do own a pair generally wear them on very special occasions only. Others wear them as part of their evening attire or if they are going out dancing. And only 31% of women even wear them to work.

When it comes to high-heeled shoes, there are statistics that show that age is a factor. Generally, younger women are much more likely to wear these shoes than older women. 49% of the women who sport high heels regularly are between the ages of 18 and 24. That percentage drops to 42% for women between the ages of 25 and 49. And that percentage drops even further to 34% for women who are 50 years of age or older. The data seems to suggest that as women age they are more likely to go for comfortable feet rather than fashionable feet.

It also is worth considering how many of those who wore high heels regularly when younger are then no longer able to wear these kinds of shoes as they get older. For many older women, wearing high heels is not even an option. Read on to learn how high heels negatively impacts the feet and perhaps even your lifestyle.


The Short-Term Factors

dangers of high heels short term

You probably don’t need to read an article to discover that getting dolled up in fancy high heels for a day brings discomfort. You could walk for a mile (or less) in high heels to learn this lesson first-hand, although it is not recommended, nor preferred. The initial complaint most have after wearing high heels for some time is, “my feet hurt!” Aching foot muscles, sore heels and blisters are common un-pleasantries discovered after prying off these straining shoes.

In addition to sore feet, high-heeled shoe-wearers also experience aches and pains in other arenas of the body. Because high heels alter a body’s natural alignment, we unconsciously adjust our posture throughout the course of the day. As a result, this causes strain on other muscles and ligaments of the body. The hips, lower back, calves, and knees are all areas that usually experience tension after a day in heels. While wearing these shoes for a day leads to temporary discomfort, this pain becomes extensive when heels are continually outfitted. The dangers of high heels eventually lead to long-term problems.


The Long-Term Factors

dangers of heels long term

Several women who avidly wear high heels claim their shoe-wear strengthens their ankle muscles. Even though this happens initially, over time the ankle muscles actually weaken. Keeping the foot in an unnatural position is the reason for this. Nerve and tendon damage around the ankle are also possible long term.

As mentioned previously, wearers of high heels typically change their natural posture to compensate for the unnatural shoe. Specifically, women have a tendency to arch their back for long periods of time as well as push their hips forward. Doing this on a frequent basis alters the spine’s alignment. And this leads to lower back pain and perhaps even nerve damage.

The dangers of high heels most common long-term issue is back pain, but many females experience ligament and muscle problems as well. The knees and calves are also common areas for these problems. Because of the unconscious shifting many do in these shoes, this may lead to a restriction of blood flow in the lower half of the body. Developing spider-veins is a long-term impact. Spider-veins are one unsightly consequence, and toenail issues are another one that results from this dangerous footwear.


Toenail issues

dangers of heels toe nails

Closed-toe high heels don’t typically have as much room in the front of the shoe as other types of shoes. Because of the lack of space, women usually jam their toes inside in order to make the shoe fit adequately. And because of the way high heels change the way we walk, the toes are constantly rubbing against the front of the shoe. This periodic perturbing is a perfect way to ruin a prettily, polished pedicure.
In addition to causing damage to the outer nail, this daily abrasion also leads to painful ingrown toenails. In fact, wearing high heels is the single, leading cause of ingrown toenails. Opting for open-toe heels, or wearing nylons is one way to reduce the problem.


The Athletic Factor

dangers of high heels athlete factor

If you are someone who is athletic and partakes in sports that requires a fair amount of running, the dangers of high heels is especially harmful. To be faster at running, athletes want to develop calve muscles that are long and flexible. Wearing high heels does the exact opposite. Tighter and shorter calve muscles make it much harder to run effectively.


Also Read: How To Run Faster – 4 Useful Tips


In addition to short-changing the leg muscles, dangers of high heels also negatively affect the athlete in other ways. First of all, it alters our natural, walking gait. Because we are forced to walk differently with the uncomfortable shoes on, this way of walking continues even after we take the shoes off. As an athlete you want to focus on your sport, not on your gait or stride.

Other dangers of high heels are also putting additional strain on the insides of the knees. Many athletes and runners have enough knee issues as is with their sport, adding high heels to the outfit only adds to the pain factor. Perhaps it’s best that Caitlyn Jenner decided to showcase sexy high heels after her Olympian career in track; otherwise, she might not have become a gold medalist.


The Disaster Factor

dangers of heels disaster factor

When getting dressed first thing in the morning, no one likes to envision themselves in the midst of a major catastrophe. And we all hope it doesn’t happen to us, (nor anyone else for that matter). But if you are one who likes to be prepared in the event of an emergency, wearing high heels is not ideal for quick exits and fast getaways. In the book The Survivor’s Club, author Ben Sherwood encourages women to travel in flats. Flats are better for being mobile in the event of a plane crash or if an emergency happens. In the moments of peril, seconds are often crucial factors and can be game-changers. To increase your odds at winning, it’s best to be prepared.

When reading the headlines in the news it’s disturbing to see the amount of shootings that occur in the most unlikely of places. However, if something like this were to unfold an escape is easier in shoes without heels. And on a less dramatic scale, even an unexpected car fender-bender makes a day suddenly stressful. There’s no telling when these situations are about to arise and wearing shoes that don’t allow for easy movement makes these unfortunate events even more distressing.


Having Happy Feet

dangers of heels happy feet

The simplest way to prevent the issues that high heels create is to not wear high heels. But if you don’t prefer that sound piece of advice there are other measures that you can take as well. You can start by buying shoes with less of a high heel. The higher the heel means the greater the impact. Buying a heel that is over three inches will lead to more pain and more problems. It’s also a good idea to buy heels that have more room in front since that is where many of the problems start.

Secondly, when wearing heels, it’s a good idea to stretch out before you put them on and after you take them off. If possible, stretch every other hour or so. Stretching out the calves and rolling the ankles around helps to reduce tightness. Even taking a minute or two and wiggling the toes and feet allow the blood to circulate a little better.


Also Read: Foot Stretches to Counteract High Heels


It is also important recommended that you don’t forget the dangers of high heels and try not to wear heels every single day. Give your feet a break. If you wear heels one day, then wear flats the next. And for the days you do choose to wear heels, try to not wear them more than a few hours at a time.
Unless you work for a shoe company like Nike, you may not feel professional rolling into work dressed in sneakers. But there are plenty of shoes on the market that are stylish and functional. Wearing high heels might make you think you are a step above your average shoe, but usually makes you crabby overall. Choosing shoes that make your feet happy generally means you’ll be happier too.


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