Long-term, repeated use of high heels can cause problems from the hip down to the foot, according to Geisinger Medical Center podiatrist David Troutman, and he says studies continue to reinforce that fact.
For instance, a study recently published in the Journal of Applied Physiology finds that high heels strained the calf muscle, even when the subjects were no longer wearing them. “If they would take their heels off and work out, they were more susceptible to strains and sprains because their foot was still functioning that,” Troutman says. “So that was the real interesting key to this study.”
The new study examined women who wore a significant heel at least 40-hours a week for two years.
“Wearing a high heel shoe once in a while is not terrible, but I think it’s the more repeated, chronic use of it where people get in trouble,” Troutman says.
He recommends that women limit the height of their heels to two inches, and to alternate high heels with more sensible shoes. “I think the more that you can alternate, wear a little bit better shoe here and there, you’re going to be fine.”