Historians have seen depictions of high heels as far back as Ancient Egypt, it is believed that they were worn during certain religious ceremonies. As time progressed, the use of high heels changed. During the Middle Ages high heels were mostly a symbol of class and were worn so people were walking above all the muck and grime in the streets. Polls show 72% of women wear heels some of the time, with daily wear being around the 40% mark depending on age bracket, but what are we putting our bodies through for a little height? Especially when there is so much evidence they are bad for our health!
Slip into a pair of heels and your centre of gravity is immediately knocked off balance – which affects your posture in more ways than you might realise. Once your centre of gravity is thrown off, your chest is pushed forward, your hips and back are thrown out of alignment and your back muscles start to work overtime to keep you balanced. This also puts extra pressure on your knees and the balls of your feet. Besides the obvious foot pain that occurs when you squeeze your feet into a pair of heels, all of this work your body is doing to try and correct your alignment and keep you balanced can cause serious back and neck pain and sometimes nerve damage. Depending on how often you wear heels, your achilles tendon can get used to being in such a tight position that the tendon can harden and be shortened permanently. Mariah Carey claims that she wears heels so much that she can’t walk flat footed anymore, famously exclaiming that “I can’t wear flat shoes, my feet repel them!” With all of this in mind, it’s best to limit wearing heels to special occasions and make sure you have a good stretch before and after wearing them.