The dangers involved in wearing modern heels

There’s an interesting paradox in the situation with women and shoes, and it goes all the way back to whoever first decided that footwear should be more than something to protect and warm the feet. Surely in prehistoric days the main purpose for footwear was to enable the wearer to walk and run on surfaces that were likely to be thorny, rocky or otherwise deeply uncomfortable.

Times have changed and many of the shoes manufactured today are really not meant for walking, no matter what the surface. They’re strictly decorative, and the wearer who suddenly has a need to run had better dispense with them in a hurry or risk worse damage than might be inflicted by whatever they’re running from.

Granted, very few who strap on a pair of six-inch designer heels expect to do any running, but most will have to put their weight on those shoes at some point; one can’t sit forever. If you check out the latest in high-fashion footwear, note the preponderance of tall, skinny heels. For every comfy-looking shoe with flair, there are usually three with TSH. Yes, they do attractive things for even less-than-perfect legs – but consider what else they’re doing.

According to any number of experienced podiatrists, most of the leading footwear fashions are anathema to foot health. In fact the term “shoeicide” has been coined (by podiatrists) to describe the cumulative effects of walking around in some of the latest fashions. Victoria Beckham, Gwyneth Paltrow and Sarah Jessica Parker could all tell you about the consequences of accessories that hurt when you wear them.

As dozens of studies have shown, women who persist in wearing tall skinny heels are greatly at risk for more than a sprained ankle (though that’s on the list of distinct possibilities). Bone spurs, bunions, corns, pinched nerves, arthritis, cracked heels, ingrown toenails and spinal problems are all common ailments directly related to those shoes that are often referred to as “killers” by fashion enthusiasts.

The fact remains that many women will suffer and persevere with great determination; never mind the pain – the rewards must be worth it. However the rewards are quite transient, but the damage can be permanent and painful long after the glamour has faded.