Let’s face it. Who doesn’t admire a woman walking around on a pair of high heels? They make a woman appear taller and also draw attention to her well rounded calves. It seems to have become common practice to wear high heels with any outfit while going out. However, with this style comes a lot of suffering. High heels have been proven to be bad for foot health as well as posture and comfort. However, knowing this doesn’t stop women from wearing them occasionally and in some cases daily.

Women can often make sacrifices for looking good. This applies to their foot wear as well. However, there is a price to be paid for this look-good practice. Studies show that wearing stilettos can take a toll on a woman’s spine, hips, knees, ankles and feet. These shoes can also alter a woman’s posture and gait. Here are some reasons on why you should opt for flats instead of high heels on a night out.

How do high heels affect you?

Did you know that about 72% of women wear high heels at some point in their lives? This statistic is according to the spine health institute. The age group that wears high heels a lot are usually among 18 to 24. Most women wear high heels when attending special occasions or parties.

While wearing heels, a woman’s body tries to compensate for the instability by flexing or forward bending the spine and hips. Also, maintaining balance with heels becomes difficult cause the hip, back and calf muscles to become tense. This condition results in muscles become excessively strained and tired. If you wear heels on a daily basis, it can cause your calf muscles to bulge and cramp often.

A recent University of North Carolina study showed that over a period of time, constant use of high heels weakens the muscles around the ankle and leads to instability. Long term complications include shortened calves, muscle fatigue, osteoarthritis and altered posture.

What can you do to prevent the strain?

There are a few things you can try to prevent your legs and back becoming strained due to high heels. Here are some recommendations:

  • Try to wear heels of two inches or less, they will cause less strain
  • Don’t wear high heels for long periods of time
  • Strengthen leg muscles at the gym before wearing them
  • Buy a variety of shoes and wear different types of footwear everyday
  • Leather soles can prevent your feet from slipping
  • Buy shoes in the afternoon when your feet are the largest
  • Avoid pointed-toe shoes
  • Stretch your lower leg muscles by using a towel to pull the front of your foot to your body for 30 seconds
  • Balance by standing on one leg for 30 seconds at a time.

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