Increasing Number of Injuries Caused by High Heels | Triad Foot & Ankle Center

Increasing Number of Injuries Caused by High Heels

iStock_000039361114_LargeHigh heels are many women’s go-to shoe for special occasions and for some, they are considered their every day shoe.

Did you know that one in 10 women wear high heels at least three times a week, and about a third of those women have fallen while wearing heels? A new study shows that there is an increasing number of injuries caused by high heels.

An article posted on the Jerusalem Post discussed how Israeli flight attendants, with El Al airlines, have even gone to the extent of suing their airlines due to their requirement of wearing high heels. According to the flight attendants, they are required to wear their heels until all passengers are aboard and seated. Countless other studies have shown that despite their many beautiful styles, high heels can cause problems for the entire body, starting from the feet up.

Below is an overview of the different areas of the body that are affected by wearing heels.



Four-inch stilettos can increase the amount of pressure on the balls of the feet by 30 percent or more. Wearing heels altars walking patterns as well, which could usher in risk of bone and nerve damage. The tight fit of some heels may also cause painful blisters on the back of the feet from sliding up and down the heels, in addition to ingrown toenails from a too-tight toe box.


Ankles and Calves

Wearing heels forces your ankles to bend forward, which in turn can restrict circulation in your lower limbs. Walking in heels also stiffens and shortens your Achilles tendon, which anchor your calf muscles to your heels and cause your calf muscles to shorten over time. As a result, standing without heels can become painful.



The knee is the largest joint in your body and bears a lot of weight of the body. Women who frequently wear high heels put extra stress on the inner sides of the knees, which can lead to osteoarthritis.



Wearing heels forces your spine to sway unnaturally, which stresses your lumbar erector spine muscle. This can create long term lower back problems. Furthermore, the steep angle of high heels can force your posture to shift forward, putting unnecessary strain on the back.


We recommend that if you must wear high heels, you only do so whenever absolutely necessary. If you’re attending an important meeting, for example, wear flats that day leading and simply change shoes just prior to your meeting. If you will be walking a lot, throw a pair of supportive walking shoes into your bag and change shoes when you arrive at your destination. We treat a variety of foot conditions, so if you feel your high heels have created an issue that needs treatment, click here to request an appointment with one of our specialists, or call one of our three convenient locations  in the Piedmont Triad.


Disclaimer: The information and other content provided in our blogs, videos, or in any other content or linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. For a full disclaimer, please click here.