I was hanging out with a friend of mine in Atlantic Station a couple of weeks ago and was amazed at the number of women I saw walking around casually with their 4 inch spike heels. The question surfaced, "Is it possible to be cute without destroying your body?" The answer is yes! But what I want to share with you is how we women are slowly destroying our bodies by the simple act of wearing high heels 5 or more days a week.
According to the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society, most people take about 10,000 steps average a day. In normal walking (flat footed), the pressure of our weight can be absorbed equally by our entire foot. The high heel shifts that weight distribution so that it is over the ball of the foot and the toes. In addition, when you are walking flat-foot, the normal mechanics of walking allow the back, knees, and legs to appropriately stretch and contract in the process. However, when in high heels, the foot is placed in a constantly downward flexed position causing the muscles of the knee, back and hips to always be in a slightly flexed position and not allowing them to stretch as they normally would.
So what does all of this mean? It means that the incorrect posturing and mechanics that walking in high heels regularly causes leads to a number of painful problems with time. These include bunions, hammertoes, heel pain, short Achilles tendon (causing tendonitis and increased risk for injury), and trapped nerves. These are just complications in the feet. Low back stiffness and strain, knee strain and tendonitis, and arthritis in the knee due to improper loading over the knee are a few of the other complications that can occur with stiletto strutting on a regular basis.
So what is considered “high” in a heel. Most experts say that a heel 2 inches or higher is considered a high heel. But a heel at 3 inches puts 6 times more pressure on the front of the foot than a modest 1 inch heel.
So does that mean we should all just toss out our cute and sexy 4 inchers? Of course not! We STILL have to be cute, right? But, you want to ask yourself the question ladies, is wearing 3 and 4 inch heels the only way to be cute or sexy? And if it is, is it worth ALL of the pain in the long run?
My charge to my stiletto stepping divas is to find some healthy and cute foot alternatives for normal daily wear. Then strut your 4 inch sexy shoes on special occasions only. There is always a compromise!
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