Can Your Shoes be Hazardous to Your Health?

Can Your Shoes be Hazardous to Your Health?

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They lift, lengthen and help you look amazing. Pumps, wedges and stilettos are the three most infamous heels known to the female population – and they are also the three most dangerous, injury-inducing shoes you can buy.

From a simple twisted ankle to corns, calluses, hammertoes, arthritis, chronic knee pain and even back problems, heels will definitely be the reason we are confined to bed or on a regular regiment of Aspirin when we’re in our 50s.

 In a Harvard study led by Dr. Casey Kerrigan, associate professor of physical medicine at Harvard Medical School, wearing high stiletto heels was linked to the development of knee osteoarthritis. Knee osteoarthritis is a painful, degenerative joint disease characterized by the breakdown of the cartilage surrounding the knee.

Those thick, clunky heels that should have been thrown out of your closet ten years ago aren’t any better for your feet or your knees. 0208GIBBERMAN.gif

The Harvard researchers determined that wide heels increase your chances of developing knee osteoarthritis just as much as those cute and chic stilettos.

“Wide-heeled shoes give you the perception of more stability when you’re standing, and they feel comfortable, so women wear them all day long,” Kerrigan says in an article in Health Link. “They are better for your feet than stiletto heels, but just as bad for your knees.”

With each step you take in a stiletto or thick high heel shoe, remember the damages these cute but potentially harmful footwear can do to your body. In the case of knee osteoarthritis, it is a degenerative disease and may not be felt till it is too late.

“It takes a long time to feel the effects of knee osteoarthritis and once you do, it’s too late,” Dr. Kerrigan says.

When picking the perfect high heel, price is important as well. Stacey London, a famous fashionista and co-host of TLC’s “What Not to Wear, often talks about how to find the right high heels.

Good heels are hard to come by and expensive, but London insisted that the $800 Jimmy Choo’s for which you laugh at the thought of purchasing, are actually pricy for a reason. The hand-stitched shoe is custom developed to flatten out the usually steep slope the heel angles your foot. It ends up being more like walking in flats with a stiletto look. It’s the best of both worlds, if you forget about the $800-plus price tag!

050508NEWBEGINNINGS.jpg If you don’t have the $800 to invest in your shoes or cringe at the thought of spending that much money on your feet, then your best bet would be to throw on a pair of cute flats. They don’t show off your curves or give you that sexy confident walk, but 10 years down the road, your knees will be thankful for those flats.

Just like any concept of trying to stay healthy, everything you do or put in your body must be done in moderation. Save your sexy stilettos for a Friday night out with the girls or a date with Mr. Right (or Mr. Right Now) and share the love with your safe, comfortable flats for the rest of the week.

Even a cute, flat sandal in this beautiful spring weather will dress up your outfit, just make sure you get that pedicure first before showing off your feet; it was a long winter.




Photo: Neysa Ruhl Photography
Location: Gateway Quarter
Model: Brandi Mendoza
Makeup Artistry: Jocelyn Sparks, Zoë Custom Cosmetics