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Are High Heels Really That Bad for Your Feet?

Are High Heels Really That Bad for Your Feet?

Fashion influencers and designers sell high heels for a look, but that look can ruin your long-term health. High heels are THAT bad for your body. Even if you tell yourself that these shoes are comfortable, wearing them regularly can cause significant issues with your feet and posture.

Experienced podiatrists Jarna Rathod-Bhatt, DPM, and Rahul Bhatt, DPM, of Apple Podiatry Group see patients all the time that have foot pain, deformities, and gait problems due to high heels. Here’s why they recommend you ditch your high heels for good.

High heels and your posture

High heels pitch your weight unnaturally forward, throwing off the mechanics of your entire body. When you have good posture, your weight is equally balanced throughout the soles of your feet, and you have a neutral spine with your shoulders centered over your hips and knees. Your weight is then distributed evenly across your supporting muscles and ligaments.

Good posture makes your body stable, so you avoid unnecessary strain.

When you wear high heels and walk around, it’s like you’re walking down a ramp. As a result, you put excess pressure on the balls of your feet. Your lower body leans forward so the rest of your body tries to compensate to help you stay upright. Consequently, your chest and lower back push forward, forcing your spine out of alignment. You start to lose the healthy curve in your lower back. All of these changes also put excess pressure on your knees, and the muscles and ligaments in your calves can tighten and cramp. 

The higher your heels, the more they impact your posture and the more pressure they put on your feet. For example, wearing a shoe with a 3¼ inch heel adds 76% of pressure to the front of your foot.

Your feet in high heels

Most women will wear high heels at some point during their lives. This includes daily wear at work or for special occasions like weddings or formal events. Unfortunately, wearing high heels can cause more than sore feet. Regular wear of high heels can lead to structural changes and foot problems, including plantar fasciitis, bunions, and neuromas.

Plantar fasciitis

If you’ve ever had burning pain in your heel – especially in the morning when you first step out of bed – it could be plantar fasciitis. The pain is due to inflammation in the plantar fascia, a strong band of tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes. High heels contribute to inflammation and plantar pain.


bunion is a foot deformity that typically forms near the base of your big toe. These growths can be painful and can make wearing shoes incredibly uncomfortable. While high heels don’t cause bunions, they certainly contribute to their progression. 


Hammertoe describes when a toe has an abnormal bend in its middle joint. This condition can occur when gravity or tight shoes push your toes into a position where they can’t lie flat.


Neuromas are abnormal growths of nerve tissue that form in a swollen and irritated nerve in your foot. Most commonly on the ball of your foot, neuromas grow in size when subjected to the constant irritation of high heels. 

Smart shoe wear

Choose shoes that promote the health of your feet. Well-fitting flats and athletic shoes are good choices. But, if you’re committed to the look of heels, reserve them for special occasions. If they’re a requirement of your work attire, put them on only when you get to the office and take them off when you can during the day. 

If you have foot problems, even those aggravated by high heels, reach out to Apple Podiatry Group today. Call one of the offices in Arlington, Flower Mound, or Fort Worth, Texas, or use this website to book an appointment. 

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