“The higher the heel, the closer to God,” so they say. High heels are undoubtedly a permanent fixture in the fashionista’s wardrobe. From a modest inch and change to sky-high stilettos, there are plenty of reasons why they have stood the test of time. However, while high heels may have their sartorial benefits, the height and frequency we wear them can have lasting-and, somewhat damaging-effects on our posture and overall health.
A study conducted by Dr. Maria Angela Cerruto suggested that wearing high heels may have a positive effect on strengthening a woman’s pelvic floor, which is important
to reduce female urinary incontinence (or, inability to “hold it”). Also, wearing high heels can act as a leg workout. Several studies have shown that wearing heels improve their muscle tone, especially in calves. That explains why both legs may be in pain after a night out in your favorite pair, rather than just your feet. Lastly, while this may not be a “medical” benefit, you can’t deny that high heels give your walk that extra oomph and sway.
However, every good thing has its drawbacks. Other studies have proven that heels, when worn improperly, can be the cause of or aggravate callouses, corns, hammertoes and bunions. Furthermore, wearing high heels in excess can worsen-if not produce- chronic back pain, hip pain, shortened Achilles’ tendons arthritis and osteoarthritis.
So, does that mean you have to hang up your heels? Not at all. Just wear them wisely. Make sure that your high heels fit comfortably and that you’re truly able to walk in them. Never buy shoes that are too small, even if they’re “perfect” and they’re the last pair in the whole Western hemisphere. Also, be sure to give your feet a break, which means keeping a pair of flats in the car or your bag so that when the day (or night) is over, you can get some quick relief. Keep in mind that the downsides to wearing high heels are linked to those who wear them on a near 24/7 basis. So, popping on a pair of flats, loafers or at least a low heel once in a while for the day wouldn’t hurt.