I have a shoe addiction. A very, very bad shoe addiction. And the higher, the better — my last purchase was a pair of never-worn brown suede Hermes 5-inch heels bought at a private sale. Two years ago, after a serious foot injury, I was sentenced not only to a hideously ugly, grey boot for six months, but also a year of no-heels-allowed. Sneakers and flats replaced my usual 6-inch stilts, and my shoeboxes which held my heels sat in my closet gathering dust. Despite continued nerve damage, nothing could keep me away from my shoes, and as soon as the doctor gave me his blessing, I was back in my Miu Mius.
But following my accident, I realized that my shoe habit had not only caused damage to my bank account, but to the overall happiness of my feet. I remember in ballet school being told that we couldn’t go up on point until our feet were fully grown, or we’d risk serious damage. What, then, is the damage for being on your tip toes all day long in a pair of six inch Louboutins? Turns out, a lot.
A recent study in Korea found a direct link between issues with joint muscles and high heel wearing.
I just figure women in their 20s are going to do it,” Dr. Martin Alongi, a podiatrist from Beverly Hills Podiatrist in California told CNN. “If they take care of their feet all the other time, most people can get away with it. There’s going to be an occasional person who injures themselves.”
Dr. Kathleen Stone, president of the American Podiatric Medical Association offers the following advice to those who insist on wearing sky high heels. She suggests not wearing heels that are higher than 2 inches. Is she kidding?
“It’s very difficult, not only on the foot, but the knees and low back,” she warns. “The way the shoes put pressure on the front part on your feet, it applies compression on your toes and irritation to the nerves in the toes.”
“The bones in the ball of the feet, called sesimoids, can be damaged or broken,” CNN reports. “Constant pressure on the feet can result in thickening of tissues around the nerves of the toes, called Morton’s neuroma, causing pain, stinging or numbness in the toes.
We tweeze, we wax, and some of us even go under the knife to improve our image. I don’t judge. But no one, not even the president of the American Podiatric Medical Association or a six-month foot injury could get my stilettos away from me. Sesimoids, broken bones, aches and pains? Bring it on. And while we’re at it, if anyone wants to snag a pair of McQueen’s for me, feel free. I’m not object to having some costume pieces in my collection, as long as they’re higher than 7 inches.