3 Reasons Women Should Never Wear High Heels

Close-up of red high heels
Jerry Bei/Moment/Getty Images

If you are looking for a doctors note to ditch your ultra high heels, then this reconstructive foot and ankle surgeon is giving you one.  Women are well aware that high heels simply hurt when they are wearing them, and well as enduring the effects of the foot pain aftermath (aka The High Heel Hangover).  However, many women just don’t know just how bad these shoes are for the long term health of their feet.



Long term use of high heels can promote structural changes and/or disfigurement of the foot.  The foot is a somewhat of malleable structure, and can be deformed from improperly fitting shoes.  High heels  completely change the position of the foot so women walk on the ball of the foot and no longer achieve a heel to toe gait pattern.


The most common foot problems that occur related to long-term poor shoe choice are:

  1. Bunions.

  2. Hammer Toes

  3. Heel Bone Bulging



A bunion is the boney knobby structure located at the base of the big toe.  Its generally not a growth of bone, but rather the displacement of the joint cause it to push out from underneath the skin.  Granted genetics play a large role in the development of bunions so heels and pointy toes shoes are not entire to blame but they are not helping the situation.  Bunions can be managed with basic measures like pads, toe spaces, toe splints, and a variety of other treatments.

 Surgery for bunions involve bone cuts or bone fusion procedures, and cosmetic bunion surgery can be performed to minimize unsightly scarring.  


Hammer Toes

Hammer toes are better known as buckled toes - which occurs where the knuckles of the toes become prominent and often callused.  High heel shoes particularly promote hammer toes because the excessive weight placed on the ball of the foot and injure stabilizing ligaments of the toes.

 Hammer toes can be treated with toe pad and specific taping amongst other treatments.  Hammer toe surgery involves removing the prominent boney knuckle(s).   


Heel Bone Bulging

The back of the heel bone can become prominent with high heels as the heel bone is tilted upwards.  Some people may develop a “pump bump” which located on the back of the heel where the shoe wraps around the heel.  Essentially, it is inflammation of the prominent heel bone.  The higher the heel, the more exposed the heel bone becomes.  Simple treatments involve padding, pain medications and shoe stretching.  Surgery involves shaving down the prominent bone.  


More Reasons Not To Wear Heels

if bunions, hammer toes, and heel bulging that may require surgery didn’t dissuade you from wearing heels, then remember that high heels can cause you to fall and break your ankle and foot, not to mention other parts of your body.    


Continue Reading