The harm and benefits of heels

Many of us women love high heels. And this is not surprising, because putting on such shoes, you immediately feel slimmer and more beautiful. Unfortunately, when worn for a long time, a high heel is a health hazard.

Features of the anatomy of the foot

The main function of the foot is shock absorption, that is, the distribution of the load when running and walking on two legs. Thanks to the movable joints of the bones (joints), the special shape of the arches of the foot, body weight is distributed to the lower spine, pelvic bones and joints of the lower extremities so that we can walk and run without experiencing pain and discomfort.

If even a small part of this well-oiled system of body weight distribution changes, then problems begin. For example, flat feet or arthrosis of the knee joint can lead to impaired gait biomechanics, improper weight redistribution, and increased stress on the hip joints or lower spine, with subsequent damage.

The harm of high heels

You ask, what does the heel have to do with it? It has been proven that a heel with a height of only 2-3 cm increases the load on the forefoot by 22%, and 6 cm - already by 60%! This means that under prolonged stress (for example, over several months), the forefoot (toes, metatarsal joints) under the influence of excessive load will begin to deform, and pathological bone growths (osteophytes) will appear.

All this will lead to a gradual rough deformation of the entire foot and its arches, and hence to a decrease in the ability to absorb the load. Further, you may have to get acquainted with pain in the foot, ankle, knee and hip joints, in the bones of the pelvis, as well as in the back.

Another unpleasant consequence that you may notice with long-term wearing of high heels is shortening of the Achilles tendon. This tendon is in the back of the ankle and connects the heel to the calf muscle. Usually, this condition is manifested by pain and discomfort in the ankles when wearing shoes without a heel.

The benefits of high heels

And yet, walking in high heels can bring health benefits as well as harm. In addition to the fact that a woman feels more beautiful and slimmer, wearing high heels helps to improve posture - walking in a stooped position in high heels is much more difficult than with a straight back.

It also turned out that high heels not only help to strengthen the calf and gluteal muscles, making the legs more attractive, but also increase blood flow in the pelvic organs, improving the intimate life of women.


Orthopedists believe that the optimal heel height should be 2-3 cm. This is of particular importance in case of already existing flat feet, because such a heel helps to correctly distribute weight over the foot. If there is no flat feet, then it is better to limit yourself to comfortable shoes with an instep support and without a heel.

If you like stilettos, then you don't have to completely refuse to wear your favorite shoes. The main thing is moderation. Don't wear high heels every day. Try to choose a wide, stable heel, it will bring less harm to your health.

If possible, remove or change such shoes for comfortable or even orthopedic ones (for example, during breaks at work). It is advisable to perform special gymnastics for the feet (the simplest option is to roll the ball with bare feet). Many orthopedists advise walking barefoot on uneven surfaces (sand, pebbles) to prevent problems from wearing high heels. Keep in mind that being overweight greatly enhances all the negative effects of this type of shoe!

If you still "did not save yourself" and after long daily hikes in heels there are pains in the feet, joints of the legs or back, do not hesitate - consult an orthopedic surgeon.