Killer heels: What high heels are really doing to your body.

They look great but high heels can damage your feet as well as your back.

High heels can only be worn for short stints.

A recent investigation at the Royal National Orthopedic Hospital in North London  has recorded 360-degree scans of patient’s feet which show the detrimental effects of wearing high heels when worn too often.

Consultant orthopaedic surgeon Andy Goldberg says women have always been slaves to fashion enduring painful rituals including waxing, wearing corsets and high stilettoes all in the name of fashion and beauty. He highlights the detrimental effects of wearing high-heeled shoes day in, day out, “with high heels, the toes are squashed inside the shoe. The more stiletto-shaped they are, the worse it is.

The toes not only get squashed, but they become clawed too. The base of the big toe becomes ‘deviated outwards’, forming a bunion, while the scanner also shows how these bones can become ‘rotated and dropped’”.

According to Dr Goldberg, there is no harm in wearing high heeled shoes for a couple of hours per night but for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, it’s just too much for the feet and back to handle.

A study published in 2013 further highlights the detrimental effects of wearing heels too often. Many women are suffering from chronic nerve damage, chronic back, feet and neck pain, and arthritis in their feet, numbness, severe inflammation as well as tight tendons and muscles.

Melbourne girl Stephanie Waters has founded  ballettonet, an online business selling easy to wear flat shoes. She believes  “heels deform the shape of the foot, and contribute to posture related stress on your body from the feet up to your back.” Stephanie and her husband are big advocates for selecting adequate footwear to ensure the health of the feet and back.

So why do we do it to ourselves? Women wear high heeled shoes for many reasons but experts say they should be focusing more on the reasons to wear supportive shoes that are going to nurture their feet and backs. Stephanie confirms that whilst “women have chosen to prioritise other things, like the look of heels and cheaper lower quality shoes”, “the wellbeing of our bodies, especially our posture and musculoskeletal system, is dependent, at least in part, on our choice of footwear”.

Finding low shoes that enable your body to function at its peak and look fabulous may seem like a tough task. A lot of women feel that heels are proper, more professional and sophisticated when in fact it is possible to achieve all these things by wearing low, comfortable shoes.  Stephanie believes that while high heels may enhance a woman’s confidence, “to look sophisticated and professional in the workplace doesn’t require a pair of sky-high heels. Have fun with expressing your own sense of style”.

Ballettonet is a shoe line dedicated and committed to providing women with a cute and comfortable ballet flat that is supportive and beneficial to the health and function of the feet and back. Even if you put them on as soon as you get home every night, you’ll be doing your body a favour.

Check out these gorgeous shoes at

BB Intern Lauren Walker

Do you prefer heels or flats?

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