Women should strut their stuff, not stilettos

Brea Joyner

Those Heels Ain’t Made for Walking

As a child, I couldn’t wait until I was old enough to wear high heels.

Bye-bye baby Easter wedges. Hello puberty pumps.

I was tall and felt sexy and unconquerable—even if it caused me pain. My mom always told me that beauty was pain, but at what cost?

The discomfort when wearing high heels could cost you more than an aching foot

In normal shoes, the weight of your body shifts to the balls of your feet for balance and works as shock absorbers. But when you wear high heels, all of that weight shifts to your toes.

According to Women’s Health, this “heel-to-toe transition becomes abrupt, forcing you to switch your natural stride to a staccato walk. Strutting like this all the time could [cause] bone and nerve damage.”

Depending on the style, heels can also cram your toes and lead to dispositioning and ingrown toe nails.

Even though those heels you’re wearing might show off your calves, they’re actually “shortening your muscle fibers and Achilles… by 13 percent,” according to a study from the Journal of Experimental Biology. This causes even more discomfort when you walk.

Painful.  I testify.

But the shift does not stop there. Every time you try to impress the eye and walk as if Tyra Banks was your instructor, you increase the weight shift. The unnatural strut causes the shock to ricochet from the balls of your feet to your spine.

It may seem that you’re walking sexily with your chest poked out and spine extra arched, but internally you are misaligning your spinal cord—and it could literally be a pain in the butt.

I know that it’s hard to let go of the things that we hold—or wear—near and dear to us, but you should consider making a few adjustments.

I’ve had to. And making that change was the hardest decision ever. It hurt. But the discomfort and aches I developed over time hurt worse.

Giving up your heels is not the answer. Instead, consider changing up the style of your heels. Try a shorter heel. Throw in a gel foot pad to ease the weight off of your toes. Stretch before and after you wear heels to ease the strain on your heel and leg tendons.

And remember. It is not the height of the heel that determines confidence. It’s the way the one who wears the heel works the height.