If women seem to be getting taller these days, they are. Look around at any trendy shoe store and you’ll see five inch heels everywhere. But doctors say they come at a high cost. Not in money, but with pain.
37-year-old Luz Vargas says the higher the heel. The better she feels. “They make me actually walk straighter, like confident I think,” said Vargas. But after a bad spin on the dance floor in these high heel boots a few months ago, she was sidelined. Her foot became so swollen and bruised, she ended up in a brace and in physical therapy for months. “Lots of women love to dress up and they love to go dancing and they love to go partying. However, you mix that with alcohol and late nights and dancing and loud music. Before you know it you’re getting a lot of injuries and I’m seeing people that, number one will fall and break their ankle and they fall and break their foot,” said orthopedic surgeon Dr. Steven Neufeld. It’s not just sprains and breaks. High heels also lead to other foot problems. “I’m seeing people with a lot more pain on the ball of their foot. I’m seeing a lot more bunions and a lot more hammer toes, a lot more nerve pain. Calluses that are becoming a problem, corns are becoming a problem,” said Dr. Neufeld. In fact, Dr. Steven Neufeld says shoes with a heel more than two inches high puts anywhere from five to eight times your body weight on the ball of your foot. Vargas says her sprained ankle is still healing, but she’s already back in her high heels and she says she’s not giving them up any time soon. “Who knows if it’s ever going to fully be the same again, but you get used to it,” said Vargas. Dr. Neufeld says if you can’t give up your heels, go for an open-toe style that takes a little pressure off the ball of your foot.