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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Columbia University Medical Center

Monday, 22 December 2014 23:11

Baylor College Professor’s Tips for High Heel Wearers this Holiday Season

According to Baylor College of Medicine assistant professor Dr. Jason Ahuero, women should be sensible this holiday season about how often they wear high heels. Wearing high heels regularly can lead to many foot problems such as foot pain and ankle sprains. Ahuero states that women should not wear heels for long periods of time and they should alternate heel height if they are unable to just wear flats. High heel wearers should also roughen up the bottoms of their heels to avoid slipping during inclement weather. When buying new high heels, Ahuero suggests that women have their foot measured each time, purchase shoes with thicker heels for stability, and to avoid high heels that are uncomfortable to wear. At the end of a day of wearing high heels, elevating the feet as well as icing them may reduce any pain or swelling.

High heels are very fashionable and a necessity to some, but they can cause a tremendous about of harm to the feet and ankles. To learn more, contact one of our podiatrists of the Foot Associates of New York. Our doctors will answer all of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet
High heels are popular shoes among women because they are associated with femininity.  Despite their appeal, they can cause many health problems if worn too frequently.
What parts my body will be affected by high heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – may shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – they decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  Also, the vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What kinds of foot problems can develop from wearing high heels?

How can I still wear high heels and maintain foot health?
If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in New York. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about the Effects of High Heels

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New York, NY 10022
(212) 355-4229

NYP-Columbia Hospital
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2nd Floor
New York, NY 10032
(212) 355-4229

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3616 Henry Hudson Parkway
Riverdale, NY 10463
(718) 548-5757

Foot Associates of New York


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nyp logo white
an affiliate of:
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Columbia University Medical Center