Ever wonder how much damage you're doing when you walk to work in sky-high heels or scuff through errands in flip flops? The wrong shoes can slow you down and set you up for a lifetime of injuries.
There's a reason most women willingly forgo comfort to squeeze their feet into stilettos: Adding inches makes you look slimmer, accentuates calf muscles and even adds a perky lift to your backside. However, if you live predominantly in heels, you can provoke long-term lasting health damage. A 2011 Danish study found that walking in heels can increase the risk of osteoarthritis six fold! Testing also revealed the following:
TIGHTER QUADS. To compensate for this tipped forward position, it's natural to bend your knees slightly and arch your back. As a result, our quads are forced to work overtime, which makes them tight and prone to injury. Walking with your knees slightly bent also puts 200% more stress on your kneecaps, which can wear away at the cartilage and increase your risk of developing arthritis, says Howard Dananberg, DPM, a podiatrist in Bedford, NH.
SCREAMING SHINS. The added height of heels puts extra strain on the shin muscles, which control the forefoot. This repetitive strain can eventually lead to painful shin splints.
TIGHT, KNOTTY CALVES. Heels put your calf muscles in a shortened position. Over time, this can become permanent. One study revealed that regular heel wearers had calf muscles that were an average 13% shorter than those of non-heel wearers, making it uncomfortable for them to walk without heels because their natural stride was thrown off.
BACK PAIN. High heels cause you to arch your back and can cause weakening and tightening of the low back, resulting in possible serious pain and problems over time.
Source: Natalie Gingerich Mackenzie