Ladies, what makes you feel more stylish, elegant, and attractive than going out with your significant other for the night and wearing heels?
Not every woman likes to wear high heels. But, many do. You know if you have to wear them and walk on them for hours, they can certainly cause you foot pain later that night.
Do high heels have more pronounced, longer-term effects too? Can they cause bunions and other foot deformities that require painful surgery that takes weeks and months to recover from?
Take a look at some of the evidence to see what current thinking holds:
The particular article does not specify exactly which foot problems are caused by high heels. However it does say high heels “…can aggravate, if not cause, problems with the toes” and “women are at higher risk than men for severe foot pain, probably because of high-heeled shoes.”
However, they do add that women can reduce their chances of experiencing pain from high-heels by wearing ones with wide toe room, a wide base, and cushioned insoles. They can also reduce their pain by wearing high heels for a minimal amount of time.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the problem with high heels is they force your toes into the front of the shoe, causing them to be overcrowded. However, they note that experts disagree on the specific role high heels play in bunions. Some experts believe high heels cause bunions, while others believe they simply contribute to the development of bunions.
In both cases, though, heels are believed to play a role.
To make a long research study short, the Framingham Foot Study found that the biggest factor in hallux valgus (bunion) formation is genetics. In fact, the condition was concluded to be “highly heritable” among white men and women of European descent. You can read the fully study here.
What Action Should You Take?
It seems clear that high heels play at least some role in the formation of bunions and other foot deformities. However, the exact nature of that role isn’t obvious.
Mayo Clinic gave the most sensible advice: wear high heels as little as possible. And if you simply have to wear them, make sure they have wide toe room, a wide base, and cushioned insoles.