Orthopaedic surgeon Andy Goldberg says when a woman wears high-heels her entire body weight gets forced to the front of her feet, gradually causing hideous, arthritic clawed toes, bunions and irreversible damage to leg tendons.
Strappy high-heel sandals and six-inch open-toed pumps may look fabulous, but humans aren’t meant to walk in them. We are meant to walk heel-to-toe, with our legs at about a 90-degree angle to the foot and the ankle joint employing a 60-degree range of motion. Wearing heels alters the position of the foot and how the foot functions causing countless wince-inducing problems.
A photograph of a foot X-rayed in a high-heel shoe reveals the ball of the foot at nearly a 90-degree angle to the bones in the rest of the foot.
The picture above was captured with a PedCAT machine at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in North London. This $340,000 scanner is the first of its kind in the UK and does a 360-degree scan of the feet in just 60 seconds. It also has the capability to show how the bones in the feet can become “rotated and dropped” when wearing heels and takes 600 2D views of the foot.
“The scanner gives us much more information”‘ Goldberg said. “It shows the deformity caused by wearing high heels is much more complicated than we previously thought.”
Sometimes, women may feel like fashion roadkill in their towering five-inch black Sergio Rossi stilettos but that won’t stop them from strutting around until their feet are bloody stumps.
“There’s nothing wrong with being in this high heel position temporarily – it forms a part of your normal stride. And if you wear heels for an hour or two at an evening party, it’s not a problem,” says the foot and ankle specialist. ”But if you wear them for eight hours a day for years on end, you will develop problems.”
A survey of patients at Goldberg’s foot and ankle clinic found that 57 percent of women and teenage girls had experienced severe pain as a result of enduring the quasi-masochistic experience of wearing heels, while 86 per cent claimed they found it difficult finding comfortable shoes.
“People don’t like doctors like me saying, ‘Your shoes are a problem.’ If I suggest they buy themselves some comfy shoes, I’m liable to get punched in the face,” Goldberg added. ”We have always been slaves to fashions that have led to deformity.