Wearing high heels can be the source of foot deformities, sciatic nerve pain, knee pain, herniated discs and a range of other crippling maladies. But why am I telling you this…
You don’t even care!
Ladies, don’t even try to fool me for a second… I know you don’t care.
Right now in your head the subconscious wheels are turning, pre-discounting every comment this article is about to make. It wouldn’t matter if I came up with some statistic that showed your teeth would fall out from wearing high heels – you would simply discount it with a wave of your hand and a comment like “that’s why god invented dentures’.
If all women suddenly decided that they cared, there would be a collective rumble as one and all would gather all their berardis, ferrugias and guccis and ignite them all in a large bonfire the likes of which could be seen by the Mars Lander.
This would be immediately followed by a series of high fashion assassinations to which the french revolution pale in comparison (watch out, Blahnik -you’re first on the chopping block!).
This race in high heels is brought to you thanks to the generous support of your local podiatrists and physical therapy association. Every participant gets a free consult and shot of painkiller following the race.
This pricey piece of Manolo Blahnik costs $7000. Thats just for the left one (yep, thats $14,000 if you want the full pair). It should come with a chiropractor and bunion surgery 50% off voucher.
So maybe you DO care and I am being cynical. Maybe it’s not your fault. Lets look at how society has conditioned you to need these fashion tools of torture.
If you already wear heels on a regular basis, you have had the following yo-yo thought process probably as many times as you have worn heels:
Order of thinking for the ‘high-heeltarded':
Featuring your logical conscience, and your socially bred feelings of inadequacy
Woman in high heels gets out of car, takes first step and goes through standard thought process below:
“Oh man, these shoes kill! Why do I even wear these things?!”
“But my legs look so much nicer in them – and whatever would I match with my dress”
(second step, proceeding compression/impingement of every bone in the foot accompanied by searing pain)
“That is it! My back is already starting to hurt me, my toes are warping into some strange bonsai tree-looking disfigurement and I don’t even like this guy that much!”
“Oh but look at her shoes? She looks so glamorous in them! Maybe she looks a bit uncomfortable, but how would any man even notice her tear-streaked face and muffled cries of pain when she has such beautiful legs!”
And so you walk on, excruciating step after excruciating step, paying the price for beauty…
And even though I know you are held back by your guilt-laden fashion shackles, it is my dream that maybe… just maybe…. there is a little girl out there in cyberspace who has not yet had her mind corrupted by the collection of fashion magazines, womens shoe stores or the constant barrage of “sex and the city” reruns. Maybe it’s too late for you to change. I don’t think it is ever too late. Only you can know.
Next time you think twice about wearing tennis shoes to work, think about these legs and remember that you can look just as good in sneakers no matter what you are doing.
But I look so good in heels! Surely standing in High Heels improves my posture?
When you are standing in the high heels, yes, your posture is improved – because if you did not stand tall then you would fall forward. By tilting the back heels up, our upper body instinctively leans back to prevent imminent toppling over.
But here’s the catch – if you stand in heels, then your feet are tilted up. This creates a chain reaction that can cause your hips to counterbalance your elevated heels by tilting the pelvis forward.
Standing in heels can cause your pelvis to tilt forward, putting excess pressure on your lower back.
Is that all? Of course not! If the pelvis learns to stay tilted forward (which can happen if you wear high heelsand/ or work at a desk most of the day) then as you can see above, when we stand our lower back is swayed in and our upper back must respond by arching back.
This chain reaction from the heels to the hips to the upper back has the potential to be a factor in pain and dysfunction in every joint throughout the body and other maladies associated with posture.
Urinary track infections can also be related to wearing High Heels. But dont’t take my word for it - click here to read an interesting article that references Larrian Gillespie, M.D.
Maybe I have been too harsh. Maybe not all of this information applies to you and you are careful and concerned about your feet. If that is the case, then I applaud you for putting your body and your feet before fashion.
Here is the take-home message I want this article to give you:
If you have foot problems, low back, knee, hip or neck pain, avoid high heeled shoes at every opportunity.
If you don’t have any problems, then please use these weapons of fashion in moderation. For your feets future. For your posture.
Experiment with different shoes. Play with your style. At least find something that you can wear to less important days/nights.
You can be glamorous, attractive and as fabulous as you want to be without artificial elevation. Just take a look at these fashion forward pics:
Afternote: I got some great responses to this post, but was really excited to stumble across this other post (click here to view it) that reinforces the whole anti-heel thing and comes from a womans perspective (because I don’t wear heels – you try finding size 15 heels!)
After-afternote: If you wanted to take the attention away from your feet, you might want to look at the ‘perfect butt’ exercise combo I put together. You can read all about it (and watch a short video of the exercises) right here