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“If high heels were so wonderful, men would still be wearing them.”

high heels power of movement

So says novelist Sue Grafton. But for most women it’s what Christian Louboutin stated: “Pleasure with pain”. I can honestly say I don’t miss having to wear heels for work every day. But, I do like to put on a pair from time to time as I like being a little taller and having the illusion of longer legs. However, I may pay for it later with foot and back pain. And it seems that many women are willing to suffer for beauty.

Studies have shown that wearing high heels can cause discomfort in the lower leg, ankle and foot as well as lower back, and may significantly reduce ankle muscle movement (which in turn impacts your gait or how you walk), total range of movement and balance control.

Some more “fun” facts that might influence you to give it a rest from time to time:

  • Most high heel related injuries occur as sprains and strains to the foot and ankle.
  • Walking in high heels is like walking on a ramp, increasing the pressure on the balls of the feet through a downward force.
  • A survey of 1,000 U.S. adults revealed that nearly half of all women surveyed (49%) wear high heels, even though the majority of them (71%) complain that the shoes hurt their feet.
  • Daily use over years can lead to changes in your anatomy: stress on the back and knees from the weight of the body shifting forward; calf muscles shorten causing tightness and reduced movement in the ankle and foot.
  • The higher the heel, the more pressure increases on the ball of the foot:
    • 1-inch heel: 22%
    • 2-inch heel: 57%
    • 3-inch heel: 76%

So what’s a girl to do if she wants to wear heels?

  • Try not to wear them for long periods of time.
  • Stretch the leg muscles before and after
  • Limit the heel height to no more than 2 inches
  • Go for a thicker heel
  • Buy shoes in the afternoon when feet are at their largest
  • Stay away from the pointed toe shoes which can scrunch toes together
  • Have a variety of shoes and vary your footwear day to day

“But the truth is, I want to be some woman’s work boots, not her high heels.”
“Work boots?” What was sexy about that? And did women have work boots?
“Yeah. You know, the boots she pulls out when she wants to get down and dirty, hiking or gardening or boating or painting the kitchen. The ones she relies on and trusts and lives her life hard and good and on her terms in. Her favorites.”

Erin McCarthy, Hard and Fast

 

http://www.thespinehealthinstitute.com/news-room/health-blog/how-high-heels-affect-your-body

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/06/17/science-weighs-in-on-high-heels/?_r=0

 

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