Study Proves High Heels Really Do Mess Up Your Feet

Heels are totally, officially, scientifically screwing up your feet.

Thanks to Australian researcher Neil J. Cronin, we now have proof that high heels do quite a number on your hooves. After seeing a girl walking uncomfortably in a pair of stilettos, Cronin and his team decided to recruit some women (average age: 25) for a study. Heel wearers were measured against non-heel wearers, and this is what happened:

In results published last week in The Journal of Applied Physiology, the scientists found that heel wearers moved with shorter, more forceful strides than the control group, their feet perpetually in a flexed, toes-pointed position. This movement pattern continued even when the women kicked off their heels and walked barefoot. As a result, the fibers in their calf muscles had shortened and they put much greater mechanical strain on their calf muscles than the control group did.

Basically, heel wearers walk less efficiently — even when they’re not wearing heels — causing their muscles to tire out and increasing the risk of strain injuries. It’s interesting to note that the subjects in the study had been wearing heels regularly for a maximum of a decade. We’d be curious to see what the results would be if women in their 40s, 50s, and beyond were studied. Also, this makes our flat shoe-loving selves feel even more justified.

[NYT]

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