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Are High Heels Good for You or Not?

Tiny Problems

If you've ever spent a crazy amount of time dashing around in heels, chances are you've had some achy feet afterward. Blisters, bunions and corns can all result from teetering on your heels. You might have these problems with any shoe you put on, but the weight distribution from heels can aggravate them more than your good old sneakers do. When you stick your feet in stilettos, your weight is concentrated on the ball of your foot, and your toes are squished into the front of the shoe. This can cause major friction on your tootsies.

Big Bummers

If you wear heels all the time, you might be putting yourself at risk for bigger problems, including back pain, pain in the ball of your foot and hammertoe. Hammertoe is when constant pressure on your piggies causes one of them to curl under and stay that way. Sometimes you can fix this condition by just switching to flat shoes, but often you'll need surgery. If you're starting to experience any of these problems, swap your heels for flats and head to your doc to get checked out.

Are There Benefits?

Believe it or not, yes, there might be some benefits to sporting heels. According to some studies done at Warwick University and Oxford Brookes University, those sexy stilettos might actually be beneficial to your knee health. While being overweight or doing physically grueling work can cause major stress on your knees, wearing heels probably won't hurt you. In fact, many of the women in the study who regularly stomped around in stilettos actually had fewer knee problems than ladies who didn't. So, in addition to looking sexy, you might be giving your knees a great workout.

Playing It Safe

First of all, make sure your heels fit before you go for a stroll. Ill-fitting heels are uncomfortable and can cause bigger problems if you wear them regularly. You might also want to add some cushioning to your shoes by placing inserts or silicone pads into them for extra comfort. If you have any problems with your feet, knees or back after you've been cruising around town in your heels, then lay off them for at least a few days. Give yourself some time to recover before throwing them on again. Chiropractor Adrian Dennewald recommends that heel-wearers do exercises like Pilates and yoga to stretch their muscles, along with exercises that strengthen their abs.

Bottom Line

Whether high heels will hurt you is an individual thing. Some women can run around town 24/7 in 6-inch stilettos and not get so much as a blister, whereas another gets back pain from simply trying heels on. The key is not to push your body further than it should go. Beauty needn't be painful. Cute flats can be just as striking as sky-high heels and much more comfortable.

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