How Heels Effect Our Bodies

Stephanie Ritter

Our Bodies

Over the years shoes have changed significantly. High heels are not only fashionable but they are super cute too! They define our legs, and make our toes look great too. Hey, they even make some ugly feet look nice. There are some things that women don’t think about when we are wearing these stylish shoes, the effects on our bodies! Are our looks really that important? When walking in your shoes do you ever say, “Wow, my feet are killing me.”? Well maybe its because of the shoes you are wearing. “We've all read the scary reports and medical studies that tell us how much our high heels are hurting us. (To which we usually respond: Thanks, doctors, our throbbing toes are well aware)”(The Huffington Post). The shoes you wear really do affect your feet.


Parts of Your Body Affected by Heels

Your feet are not the only part of your body that your shoes effect. “Your heels height and shape can make a thick tissue around a nerve between the third and fourth toes, which can lead to pain and numbness in the toes”(The Huffington Post). This is called Morton’s neuroma. Your knees need to adjust to how you stand. Your posture is altered to maintain your balance. “One study shows that yours knee joint pressure increases as much as 26% when wearing heels” (Maintaining the Balance) This could be one or the reasons that women are more often seen with knee injuries than men. “This is a common source of Osteoarthritis”(Maintaining the Balance) Most women feel arthritis in their legs, this could also be a main source. The calf muscle needs to stretch itself because of the fact that you are elevated instead of being flat foot. This has to do with the angle of the heels, which “makes your calf shorten and tighten” (Maintaining the Balance). When standing flat footed your posture as straight, when wearing heels you can see that your back maintains a curvature, also to help maintain the balance. “Heels push the center of mass in the body forward, taking the hips and spine out of alignment” (The Huffington Post). Tight shoes can also leave a “bunion” on your feet. A bunion is just a bony growth most often seen by the big toe. “When the front of the foot moves down in relation to the heel the Achilles tendon tightens”( The Huffington Post). The pump bump is caused by the back part of the heel, it is made to keep the heel held to the back of your foot so your shoes stays on. The pump bump causes skin irritation at times and can create a “bony enlargement called Haglund’s deformity”(Beauty Hygiene). Since the heels are also impairing your bodys original stature it makes the ball and platform of your foot have pain. Because your center of gravity is off it puts pressure on these two areas, creating a more painful walk. “The muscles in the groin and hip flexors tighten, lower back and gluteal muscles compensate and can go into chronic spasm, creating pressure on the sciatic nerve”(One Life).


Best Types of Shoes For Us

The best type of shoes for you would have to be running shoes for the most part. It depends on what materials are being used to make these shoes and what type of support the shoes are giving. Everyone feet are different so there really is no way in telling which shoes are really the best for you. We can have our theories though! According to, Daniel Lieberman, PhD, Professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard University, the problem with most shoes is that “we were never meant to be confined in cousioney rubbery shoes or in elevated heels.” There are benefits to being barefoot, it strengthens your foot muscles and legs. Overly supportive shoes are also bad for us due to the fact that it restricts movement. “Going barefoot strengthens the arches in your feet as to when wearing supporting shoes it causes the muscles to atrophy” (Wellness Mama).


Worst Shoes For Us

There are many types of shoes that are bad for our feet but there are some specifics of which we can cover. Heels are obviously bad for your body and health, anything with some sort of platform are most likely bad for your feet. Anything to flat is bad for you as well. "There is such a thing as too flat," says Dr. Sutera. “Shoes that are too flat don't provide adequate arch support, cushioning or shock absorption, which those with flat feet need. However, as Dr. Blitz notes, flats are flexible and cause the muscles to work harder, making them stronger -- that's a good thing. Another problem: There's a higher risk of the sole being pierced by a foreign object” ( The Huffington Post). These shoes include converse, ballet flats, and flip flops. Running sneakers can also not be good for you. Too much cushion causes the muscles to relax more. You are than losing strength in your legs and feet.


How To Take Care Of Your Feet

There are five simple steps on how to take care of your feet. Always wear comfortable shoes. “Synthetics tend not to breathe well, trapping heat and moisture. Natural materials like leather and cotton will keep your feet cooler and release moisture; athletic shoes with special materials or mesh work even better” (Discovery Health). Take a walk. “The muscles in your feet are just like any other muscles, they need exercise to stay strong” (Discovery Health). Washing your feet will help keep bacteria away which will cause fungal infections. “All the moisture and sweat provides fertile ground for bacteria to grow” (Discovery Health). Keep your feet moisturized. This will make your feet soft and less likely to get calessus. “Rub a lotion containing cocoa butter (a natural emollient) into the skin of your feet every day”( Discovery Health). Last but not least wear socks. “Not only do they protect your feet from wear and tear, they absorb and wick away moisture”(Discovery Health). Doing these activities will decrease the risk of joint pain, pain elsewhere in the body, and all around just feeling better. Your feet will be clean and will be less likely to contain fungal bacterias. Keeping your feet clean is really important.