What Are High Heels Doing To Your Body?

Posted by Jesse Flores on

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It’s no surprise that high heels make your feet hurt — any woman who has worn them out for a night on the town or slipped them off before the end of a wedding reception knows that. 

But the more important thing about heels is why they make your feet hurt and what you can do about It. You can’t change how heels impact your feet, but you can ease the pain they cause your feet. Let’s take a look at why they hurt and what you can do about high heel pain.  

They May Cause Plantar Fasciitis In Your Heel and Arch 

Slipping into your heels points your toes and lifts your heel closer to calf, a pretty unnatural position. This causes your Achilles tendon to shorten…and too much shortening is not good. 

Your Achilles connects to the plantar fascia, a ligament that stretches along the bottom of your foot. When the Achilles shortens, it pulls on the plantar fascia, causing stress. This causes heel pain known as plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis can cause burning and pain in the heel. 

They Push Your Toes Together

The most popular high heels tend to have pointed toes. When pointy toe shoes are worn regularly, you can develop muscle imbalances, hammertoes, or bunions due to extra pressure on the toes. 

This shoving together of the toes can even cause nerve conditions in the feet, leading to pinching sensations and pain.

Puts Pressure on the Forefoot (That’s meant for the heel!)

A high heel pushes weight and pressure onto your forefoot that was meant to be absorbed by the heel. This can lead to discomfort and even injury to the metatarsal region of the foot. In turn, your toes will want to splay out more to support your foot, but if they’re squished together like we mentioned above, they won’t be able to. 

They Add Extra Stress to Your Knees

High heels shift the pressure on your foot forward causing your center of gravity to shift right along with it. While the front of your foot takes a lot of the pressure, your knees actually end up suffering as they work to keep your body balanced in a new and unfamiliar position. In fact, increasing your heel height increases your risk for arthritis in your knees. 

They Ruin Your Posture

(which has been pushed forward by the heels). 

When you wear heels:

  • Your lower back arches
  • Your chest is pushed forward
  • The natural S-curve (your body’s shock absorber) of your spine shifts

They Can Cause Back Pain

It’s not just your feet and knees that will hurt from constant heel wearing…your back will start to feel the pressure, too. 

When that lower back arches, muscle overuse can lead to back pain and the crowding of the vertebra can make it worse. 

They Weaken Your Feet and Ankles

When all the weight of walking, stair-climbing, strutting, and kicking your day’s butt is pushed to the forefoot, all that pressure is going to lead to a crack. Extra pressure makes your feet and ankles much more prone to stress fractures, tiny cracks in the bones. 

Don’t Want to Give Up Your Heels?

High heels have been around for a long time and, despite their lack of support, we don’t see them going anywhere. So, if you must wear those heels, make sure you are getting added support  by using shoe inserts for heels. 

Why use inserts?

  • Arch support can help with weight distribution issues and alleviate pressure on the forefoot
  • Inserts can help reduce movement in the medial arch which can help with balance and alignment
  • They will make your heels more comfortable

The Orange Insole Light is the perfect size for your favorite heel. 

Sleek shoe covers for your high heels available for preorder. Get 10% off using code STANDOUT.

Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. If you experience persistent pain, consult your healthcare provider.


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