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High heels pose a challenge for foot health (Boo), but there are ways to wear them safely (Yay !) 12.Jan.2016

High Heels pose a challenge for foot health (Boo), but there are ways to wear them safely (Yay !)

It's a Love-Hate relationship for Ladies High Heels and despite the acceptance of high heels in women's fashion, these shoes continue to cause pain and even injuries for many wearers. And the list of potential problems is long, say orthopaedic foot and ankle specialists.

But by far the most common injuries that come from wearing too-high heels are sprains and fractures. "Women wearing high heels can easily twist the foot or ankle, leading to a sprain that has lasting effects," says Robert Santrock, an orthopaedic foot and ankle specialist in Morgantown, W.Va. "Twisting injuries in high heels can also result in a broken bone in the foot or ankle."

Fortunately, women can wear fashionable shoes and avoid some of the most common problems from very high heels. For example, a lower heel height will decrease pressure on the ball of the foot and help avoid pain and other problems. A wider toe box—that is, the area for the toes within the shoe—will reduce toe crowding and relieve pressure. Finally, reducing the amount of time spent in any type of heels will help reduce the chances of a twisting injury, says Santrock.

To learn more about other foot conditions caused by excessive use of high heels, visit the Smart Tips for wearing Ladies High Heels page at, the patient education site of the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Specialists (AOFAS).