They make your legs look like they go on forever and your gait a little sexier, but high heels can permanently damage women’s feet, a new study shows.
In fact, a whopping 90 percent of women surveyed in a study by the UK College of Podiatry found that they were in pain just over an hour into wearing heels.
“There’s absolutely no doubt women who wear high heels are putting themselves at risk of permanent injury in the name of fashion,” podiatrist Mike O’Neill, from the College of Podiatry told Mail Online.
The study also found that 20 percent reported feeling pain in the first 10 minutes of wearing heels, while a third said the strain from their stilettos became so bad during a night out clubbing that they had no choice but to dance barefoot and walk home shoeless.
The survey of 2000 British men and women as well as 60 podiatrists and chiropodists also found that more than half (55 percent) admitted to suffering from blisters from the favourite heels while 45 percent were plagued with cracked heels.
Sadly, 90 percent admitted to suffering problems from forcing their feet into ill-fitting shoes.
High heels ram your foot forward, squishing your toes together causing pressure that can trigger ingrown toe nails, rough areas of skin, blemishes and callouses. Squished toes are also the perfect breeding ground for athlete’s foot.
O’Neill warned that consistently wearing tight, ill-fitting shoes can cause long-term damage which in severe cases may even require surgery or steroid injections.
Furthermore, wearing heels means you lean back to compensate for being forced to stand forwards, which can cause undue pressure on your pelvis and even compress your spine.
O’Neill and other podiatrists’ big problem with high heels was that it forced women to walk on the balls of their feet.
“Wearing high heels shortens the Achilles tendon dramatically, which causes incredible aches when you then try to wear flats,” he warned, adding that women would be better off wearing stacks [such as platforms or wedges] if they wanted that extra height.
The study also discovered that while women typically own 17 pairs of shoes, men own just eight and the younger the woman, the higher her heels were. Only 12 percent of men were willing to put up with stylish but uncomfortable shoes.
Sadly, 20 percent of women refused to seek medical help because they believed their foot complaint was not important.