Most of us love wearing good-looking footwear, & we all know high heels look good! But this may come at a cost! Wearing high heels alters your body’s biomechanics & distorts your natural balance by having the heels constantly above the toes. Even the smallest change in the foot can throw out your entire body’s alignment. This can result in extra pressure on the balls of your feet, which in turn affect your stride-length, walking speed & your natural gait (the way you walk).

Calf muscles become tense & your hips & spine move out of alignment. The natural curve of your lower back decreases, which in turn causes muscle overuse & lower back strain/pain over time. Wearing high heels affects the positioning of the spine – the S-curve of the spine acts to cushion any shock-absorption as we walk & move around. Wearing high heels alters the shape of the spine & this S-curve, resulting in less shock-absorption as you walk – this can cause uneven wear-&-tear on the joints, ligaments, & discs of the entire back.

A few handy tips if you cannot avoid wearing heels is to:

• try to keep the heel size less than 5cm
• try to avoid wearing them for long periods of time
• try mixing it up, wearing flats for a change
• avoid heels with pointed toes, which adds further stress to toes & arch
• wear insoles to decrease foot slippage & provide additional support to the foot
• stretch lower leg muscles regularly