Are high-heeled shoes harmful?

Can high-heeled shoes, which are indispensable for women, cause health problems? Experts explain. Beware of!

Can high-heeled shoes, which are indispensable for women, cause health problems? Are high heels as dangerous as they are stylish? Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Specialist Prof. Dr. Turan Uslu tells…

Many women like to wear high heels. However, there are many health problems caused by high heels. Wearing high heels can cause temporary muscle tension and sometimes permanent damage. High-heeled shoes worn every day are a common cause of lower back problems. In addition to the spine, the natural posture of the knee, hips, and shoulders can also be disrupted by high-heeled shoes. The biggest damage of high-heeled shoes is to the foot and ankle joints and soft tissues.

Shortens and stiffens the Achilles tendon

The higher the heel of the shoe, the more pressure it puts on the front of the foot, this pressure causing severe bruising and muscle fatigue. Women who often wear high heels place their legs in a bent position with increased pressure on the front of the foot, then the lower body tends to move forward to maintain balance while the upper body leans back, this is not a normal situation. In this position, pressure is applied to the inside of the knee, This leads to osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease. If high-heeled shoes are used for a long time, the calf muscles are permanently shortened and stiffened. As a result, as you get older and or want to wear normal heels, you will feel that these muscles cannot stretch easily and cause a lot of pain in the hips, knees, and ankles. Likewise, these types of shoes also shorten and stiffen the Achilles tendon, and the tendon in this condition sometimes becomes inflamed, which The condition is called tendinitis. When you walk like a model, the last thing that comes to mind is that high heels put pressure on the hip muscles, because the feet cannot force the body forward due to the high heels, which puts an extra strain on the muscles around the hips.

Things to consider when buying shoes

When buying shoes, it is necessary to wear both shoes and walk a little, many people have one foot may be larger than the other, so always buy shoes that feel comfortable with the big foot. Buy shoes that you can make sure your feet are comfortable with when you try them out. Don’t buy shoes with box-toes that are too tight Try to limit the use of high heels, only wear them for special occasions. Consider these dangers when using high heels. For this reason alone, many women wear high heels for hours. These types of shoes have many drawbacks besides pain. One in ten women who wear high-heeled shoes at least three days a week reported that they fell while wearing these shoes. High heels are one of the main factors that cause problems in women’s feet. One-third of these women experience long-term permanent problems. Therefore, if high-heeled shoes are used for a long time, they cause permanent low back pain as they increase the waist cupping.

Effects of high heels on feet and ankles

Under normal conditions, the foot and ankle work like a spring anatomically to reduce the impact from heavy loads and to be a support for the bones. In the case of wearing high-heeled shoes, all the weight of the body will be on the front of the small and fragile foot and the bones of the toes. The higher the heel of your shoes, the more load is placed on the front of the foot. One study has shown that a stiletto-style heel of up to 10 cm (thin and pointed at the bottom) can add up to 30 percent additional load to the forefoot. Not only that, your stride becomes unbalanced because high-heeled shoes force your feet to walk with shorter strides. This walking technique, called staccato, if continued for a long time, damages the bones and nerves of the foot. Effects of high-heeled shoes on the ankles and calves
High heels force the ankles to lean forward, which can limit blood flow to the lower extremities. People who wear high heels for a long time have a higher risk of developing varicose veins.
High heels shorten and stiffen the Achilles tendon and calf muscle. The Achilles tendon muscle is the muscle at the back of the calf that supports heel movement. This can make walking difficult. In addition, the use of high-heeled shoes can cause chronic tension in the ankle and calf, even shortening the calf veins. Those who wear high heels for a long time feel pain in their calves even when they do not wear high heels.

Knee problems caused by high heels

The knee is the largest joint in the body and is a very durable joint. Still, wearing high heels in the long run can often also impair the knee joint and increase the risk of osteoarthritis.

hip pain

Waist cupping increases when wearing high-heeled shoes. The hip muscles stick out. This look may make you look more attractive, but it will cause the hip muscles to be pushed outward more and more, thus causing hip pain.


To be able to walk in style while wearing high heels, you need help from the bone that keeps rocking unnaturally. This pressure movement causes the lower back muscles to work more than normal, causing pain in the lower back. In addition, increased waist cupping narrows the nerve channels and causes nerve compression. To avoid future back pain problems due to mistakes when wearing high-heeled shoes, there are some things to consider. Do not use these shoes for too long. Keep a normal shoe in your bag when you have to use it. As soon as the situation where you need to look like this disappears, put on your normal shoes. Remember, your feet need rest too. If you wear high heels all day, wear flat heels or comfortable sandals the next day, or hide your high heels and don’t go out for a few hours.