After new research this week showing nine out of 10 women have experienced pain or other foot problems from skyscraper heels, you may wonder if we choose to shelve the uncomfortable shoes at last. But you’ll know deep down that we won’t.
New English research finds nine in ten women have experienced pain or other problems in their feet, back and legs due to their choice of shoes – and that tough we know 10 to 15cm heels are bad for us, we wear them anyway.
The UK College of Podiatry warned that prolonged high heel wearing can trigger serious problems including arthritis, stress fractures and trapped nerves. The college’s Mike O’Neill, a consultant podiatrist, said: “There is absolutely no doubt that women who wear high heels are putting themselves at risk of permanent injury in the name of fashion.”
Earlier this year Australian research reported that the exact time after which a woman starts to feel pain from her high shoes is one hour and seven minutes, and that women suffer so much foot pain form them they often go home shoeless.
The biggest cause of partying injuries in Australia is falls, sprains, strains or even breaks caused by very high shoes. Over in New York, stilettos are so much the rage that a former shoe designer is now making a killing teaching women how to actually walk in them, since so many are, according to him, unable to even properly get about.
Yet still they sell, and still they dominate everywhere from nightclubs to offices, Real Housewives of Melbourne publicity shoots and school pick-ups.
In this week’s UK research, half of women confessed to wearing uncomfortable shoes for the sake of fashion.
Forty two per cent of high-heel lovers were found to have had accidents in their heels, including one high-profile TV presenter who broke her nose in a fall.
Chris Walker, a consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Liverpool’s Bone and Joint Centre even declared that “if you tried to bring out any other product this dangerous, it just wouldn’t be allowed on the market.”
Yet still they sell in massive numbers and turn up on younger and younger girls.
One reason, of course, is that women believe such painful fashion choices make them sexier. And sadly, a bunch of US research subjects of both sexes confirmed earlier this year that this is true; the silhouettes of women walking in heels were judged fare more “feminine” by both groups than the same group in flats.
Heels have been around for centuries, but the trend to make them ever higher which started about five seasons ago, and while stuff like digital prints, Boho and fluoro has come and gone, the very high heels have stubbornly hung around.
While it is, allegedly, possible to get a comfortable pair of super heels (Victoria Beckham is one who swears – incredibly – that they can be as comfortable slippers, despite her heel-induced bunions), the mass market demand for heels has produced many poorly-structured versions.
Even the queen of heels herself, Sarah Jessica-Parker, a woman who literally spent whole days dashing about Manhattan in ridiculous shoes for a decade filming Sex and the City, this year admitted that the reality of foot damage has made her call it quits.
She had discovered what Christian Louboutin, the man who really sparked the latest, loooong love-affair with painful heels went down in shoe-psychology history for pointing out: “most women have a quasi-masochistic experience with their stilettos”.