I am not a big fan of high heels. Growing up with very conservative parents, they were simply “not allowed”. I got my first pair of heels for my high school prom, but even then they were not that high at all, more like Mary-Janes with a bump at the back. Then, before my last year of high school was over, I had an injury and had to have reconstructive surgery on my left foot. I never wore heels again until I was in my twenties.

However, even when I began to wear high heels again, I didn’t wear them very often. I often worked at clerical jobs and, although I wore dresses and heels, they always had to be conservatively appropriate office wear. When I went out to nightclubs I enjoyed dancing so I avoided wearing high heels which spoiled my fun with excruciating discomfort.  Now, as an adult, I look at the high heels in my closet and see that I have only two pair that exceeds three inches. They both have those Frankenstein-like platforms. I haven’t worn either pair in over three years. They just sit there collecting dust. I doubt I will ever wear them again.

And, considering what medical experts say about women’s health and wearing high heels, I may be much smarter than the millions of women who are willing to risk their health just to make a fashion statement.  I don’t need them in order to feel sexy or sassy. I can find beautiful, cute or clever shoes with a modest heel or no heel at all and perfectly complement any outfit. So, while high heeled women are wobbling about or smiling through the pain, I am feeling confident, focused and pain free in all social situations. And all thinks to my reasonable choice in footwear.

High heels cause all sorts of problems from leg and foot strain to joint stress, not to mention blisters. Wearing them for reasons of vanity actually ends up coming out all wrong. As a woman ages, if she wears high heels too much, her feet can become disfigured with bunions and callouses. So much for vanity.

By consistently wearing a shoe with a heel even two inches high a woman increases inner knee strain by twenty-three percent. So, enjoy looking sexy for the short time you have, high heel lovers, because eventually you’re going to come down with premature arthritis in the knees and will have to hobble about in orthopedic shoes. Years and years of going about in high heels add strain to heels. This results in knees pushing themselves forward to compensate so that you walk and stand upright. High heel vanity could very well cause osteoarthritis.

Leg and foot muscles experience just as much damage as joints do when high heels are worn daily. By elevating the heel, the Achilles tendon within the base of the calf muscle group becomes shortened. When these tendons remain in this cramped position for long periods of time on a consistent basis, added strain is caused in other foot and leg muscle groups to compensate. This can eventually lead to disproportionate muscle development that can be very painful. It can also lead to the excruciating condition known as plantar fasciitis which is inflammation of the muscle group, plantar fascia, which is located on the bottom of feet.

Although the neck seems very remote from the feet, high heels do, indeed, create serious neck problems. High heels throw the body into an unnatural posture which adds strain to the neck and spine. To walk properly in high heels, the back has to arch and the neck has to thrust forward. Eventually, it is very possible this unnatural posture can create vertebrate and disc strain which can lead to very painful and incurable conditions such as degenerative disc disease.

The nervous system is also not exempt from health problems related to high heels.  Sciatica is probably the most common nerve pain disorder created by high heels. The strain created on the lower back as it is thrown out of natural posture eventually experiences chronic muscle spasms. This can then aggravate the sciatic nerve resulting in pain along the back of the thigh and gluteal muscles.

And then there’s the bone damage caused.  I’m not talking about breaking an ankle when trying to run in heels. I’m talking about bones that can be fractured just walking around clueless that the damage is occurring. The majority of the bones in the feet are quite small and prone to stress fractures. Wearing high heels often and for long periods of time can easily cause stress fractures.

So, ladies, the question you have to ask yourself is, “Do I love my feet, legs, back and neck more than I love my image in high heels?”  Hopefully you will discover the sexiness that is within you. You know, that sexiness of a confident woman who makes good decisions? Yes, that is the sexiness I’m talking about!

 

Written by Gemma