How Healthy are High Heels?

I have received a bunch of shoes over the course of 2 months. Maybe It’s because I typically wait until all my shoes are broken to buy replacement pairs. Lucky for me, my mother is concerned that I am always on my feet. Besides a few pairs of boots, she has also graced me with these 2 gorgeous pairs of heels from Lord & Taylor for days when I need to be more trendy.

The first is this pair of beautiful satin nude peep-toe heels with black lace over it and a brooch at the front. I drool every time I see them! But I gave them to my sister. While I completely adore the shoes, I love my sister waaaaay more (and luckily we are +/- half a size a part). I knew she would appreciate them very much and wear them more, especially at work (she’s an electrical engineering consultant).

Besides, my mommy also gave me a pair of these black satin sling-back Steve Madden pumps with sequined giant bows. She is convinced I should wear them with jeans when I go to class if I can’t use them during formal occasions only. I said I’ll think about it. I’m always deathly afraid of walking in heels, so I usually opt for flats because they are comfy and dress appropriate for work, class, and volunteering.

After my two flats got destroyed by rainstorms (on separate occasions), I bought this nifty pair at the GAP that had a gold chain anklet on sale before break.

And what would this blog be without a scientific point of view!

This great infographic from the Washington Post gives an overview of negative health effects of high heels. While these effects are over very extreme cases when high heels are overused, the infographic is still a great precautionary guide.

According to the graphic, the main source of problems caused by heels are stemmed from the body being in an altered and unnatural position. This further causes more problems such as:

  • Hips & Spine misalignment
  • Excess force on knee, the front of the foot, and toes
  • Overly tightened muscles
  • Impaired balanced
  • Increased chance of injury

Now all these risks seem scary, it doesn’t mean that you cannot enjoy your beautiful heels! According to a ScienceDaily article written in 2010, women who tend to wear high heels felt discomfort when they walked flat footed. The studies expected to find that high heel wears had shorter calf muscles, but instead found that they actually had shorter muscle fibers than women who don’t wear high heels often. The article suggests for avid high heel wearers to try stretching to avoid discomfort caused by heels.

There are also some positive psychological effects high heels have on women and how they view themselves.

  1. Generally makes women feel taller & more confident.
  2. Raises the butt about 20 to 30 degrees.
  3. Because of point #2 on this list, heels make a women appear more youthful.
  4. Makes legs appear longer and balances out body shape.
  5. Not a psychological plus, but apparently heels are suspected to lead to a better sex life for women (check the BBC source below)

The interesting things and tidbits of information you learn with the power of the internet.

Sources:

  1. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100715194407.htm
  2. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/graphic/2007/05/07/GR2007050700484.html
  3. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100715194407.htm
  4. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/homo-consumericus/200902/why-are-high-heels-so-enticing
  5. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7225828.stm
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11 comments on “How Healthy are High Heels?

  1. improperintegirl says:

    No heels for me, they give me lower back pain and knee pain, which is much worse if I have to walk on concrete.. lower back pain is probably due to the butt thing. plus I saw this thing on the news about women being more at risk for a certain type of fracture from wearing heels because of there being too much pressure on unnatural places. Plus my grandma had all sorts of foot problems from wearing heels her whole life.
    Only time I’d wear heels is if I were going to a fancy-ish event and being driven there. But Scott being a tad shorter than me is my favorite excuse to not wear heels XD

    • haha another reason why Scott is awesome! But I agree, I usually wear heels only around fancy occasions. I’m trying to boost my height on regular days too, but most days I’m like “ahhh too much walking.” I’m trying to find a happy medium though of integrating heels into my weekly life though since my mom got me such pretty shoes and because I am VERY short. lol.

      As for the fractures, I think women are already susceptible to fractures more than men not only because of the possible use of heels, but also because of the angle our femurs are connected to at the hip. This is why physics is important. You screw up a distribution of force & BOOM a fracture is born.

  2. Love it…I agree completely. Just wear what you are comfortable with…if not you will be miserable. Plus you can gradually build up the height, fanciness, etc. Shoes make and outfit plus the boost of confidence!

    • Thanks! I’m glad a shoe lover such as yourself liked the post 🙂 There are great shoes out there that are both comfy and stylish. Stilettos are not the only way to go (but sometimes they are so tempting to wear). Thanks again for the visit.

  3. First of all, both of those pairs are super pretty. Second, this is a great post! I’ve always wondered about the consequences of wearing heels, especially since I wear them almost every day. Maybe it’s because we’re still young that the majority of those problems may not show up in our bodies (yet). But I’ll definitely start stretching from now on! But I definitely agree with all of the psychological effects you listed. I feel 10x more confident about my body when I wear heels, lol. The BBC article is quite interesting, too. I kind of feel motivated to write more informative blog posts now – I’ve been getting lazy these past few months. D;

    • Haha thanks so much. I’m glad when people enjoy reading whatever I write. I started off looking for the positive effects of heels first because I knew there must be some good research out there, but the infographic was too good to ignore. There are many habits I always wonder their effects in the long run, and heels is definitely one I was curious about ever since observing Orthopaedics and acquiring nice shoes 😛

      As for my sudden surge of informative blog posts, its because I’m making up for lost time XD I’ve had a list growing on my laptop I’ve been meaning to write. Since break is ending for me soon, I’m pumping out as many posts as I physically can handle! As for your posts, I always enjoy what you blog about, so I wouldn’t say you are lazy at all >:D

  4. […] Blogging Why: because it helps me practice my writing, and I feel like my voice can heard (maybe even be entertaining or informative) […]

  5. You hit hit the spot there with a great write-up with a lot of wonderful information

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