clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Here Are All of the Ways High Heels Are Ruining Your Body

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Everybody knows that in addition to being uncomfortable most of the time, high heels are also pretty bad for your body. If you've been unaware of the specifics, Live Science has just broken down all of the ways your favorite pair of Louboutins or what have you are slowly deteriorating your body, one painful problem at a time.

The list of maladies includes: shortened calf muscles, heel and ankle pain (duh), muscle fatigue and cramps due to tensing of the hip and spine, joint degeneration and knee osteoarthritis, and the dreaded ingrown toenail. Apparently, a study found high heels could shorten the muscle fibers in a woman's calf up to 13% after 20 to 50 years of wear, which then makes wearing flats and low-heeled shoes painful. (Now the claims from heel diehards that "flats are uncomfortable" sound less preposterous.) The article also includes a physicist-developed formula that calculates "the highest heels that a woman should wear, based on factors such as the cost of the shoes, the amount of experience the wearer has with heels, and the amount of alcohol consumed."

According to said science, "Carrie Bradshaw of 'Sex and the City' could wear 5-inch (12.5 cm) heels when sober, but only 0.8-inch (2 cm) heels after consuming 6 units of alcohol." The math, here, appears a little unclear, as for most of us it's definitely the other way around.
· How High Heels Hurt [Live Science]