The Disadvantages of Wearing High Heels

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The disadvantages of wearing high heels and tips to prevent permanent damage.

In every woman's closet, placed strategically beneath the infamous "little black dress," sits a fashion staple of timeless quality: the perfect pair of heels.  They give even the shortest of women long legs, look great with pretty much any outfit, and scream femininity.  A woman can slip on her favorite stilettos and instantly feel stylish and sexy, regardless of anything else.  Recent studies dealing with these beautiful fashion must-haves suggest that maybe those high heels aren't quite worth the beauty they exude and the disadvantages of wearing high heels majorly outweigh the pros.

Foremost, in a practical sense, they wreak extreme havoc on whatever they're gliding across.  Floors - whether they be tiled, hard wood, or carpeted - will meet their untimely demise under the literal pressure of high heels.  With such an intense amount of weight being punctuated onto one solitary spot, it's in turn putting more pressure on the floor beneath it, causing scrapes and pressure marks.  Also, walking outdoors is its own form of gambling because another annoying disadvantage of high heels is their ability to sink into even the toughest of soil, causing either a stumble or a stuck shoe.

If a large stumble ever occurs while wearing high heels, the probability of regaining balance becomes slim to none.  As mentioned, the central focus on a high heel shoe is the pointed heel, which gives the wearer less area to reestablish their connection with flat ground.  Sprained ankles are extremely common in these situations due to the lack of stability and the form of the fall that takes place while in heels.  This is also an opportune time for the heel to break or snap off.

The physical disadvantages of wearing high heels are vast.  Donning them for even a short period of time can cause immense foot pain.  Because of the structure of this particular type of shoe, the body weight is unevenly distributed among the foot, particularly centered obviously in the heel.  When the pain becomes nearly unbearable, walking becomes difficult and the wearer becomes more susceptible to sprains and stumbles.

Seen largely with heels greater than two inches in height, ankle pain isn't far behind the initial foot ache.  The ankle is not meant to be placed in such an odd angle for long periods of time and when you combine the strange bend with the focused weight, the ankle will start to protest, sending jolts of pain through the calf muscles.  In some cases, the damage can even spread to the hips.  If left alone for too long, it can cause both muscle and joint problems in the future.

A little known disadvantage to high heels is back pain.  High heels make the body want to naturally lean forward due to the angle at which the ankle is bent.  This causes the back, particularly the lower back, to pick up the slack and try to keep the body at an upright angle to avoid falling face-first.  Like many of the aforementioned issues, if done for long periods of time and not treated properly, it can cause back pain that can later turn into permanent damage to the muscles.  The back is not meant to be the sole balancer for the body.

Being a fashion go-to, high heels will undoubtedly stay in fashion for years to come, but knowing what can arise from prolonged wearing can greatly decrease the chances of doing permanent damage.  If going to a formal event, attempt to sit down as much as possible and while sitting, remove the shoes to give the muscles in the feet and the joints in the ankle a break.  To combat hip and lower back damage, yoga or any other stretching exercises will help take the edge off the damage heels do to the body.  High heels are great for style and self-confidence and the disadvantages of wearing high heels should not completely dissuade anyone from owning a pair.  Knowing the body's limitations and why these awesome shoes are feet killers is already half the battle for a long, healthy heel-wearing life.


1 comment

Jacob Mack
Posted on Sep 14, 2011