The worldwide obsession with discomfort and beauty is a long tradition. From neck rings and toe binding to the fascination with high heels, it seems that women have always had to be uncomfortable to meet common beauty standards. Uncomfortable beauty routines, however, often come with downsides for your health, and this is no different with high heels.
The History of High Heels
Why did high heels even become a trend, and who would think about contorting feet into unnatural positions for the sake of beauty? High heels have been seen as far back as the 1400s, when Venetian prostitutes wore them to tower over their clients and increase their allure.
Over time, high heels became a status symbol. Wearing uncomfortable shoes indicated that you were well-off enough to not need to walk or exert much energy in your daily life. Now, high heels are worn by women of all jobs, social classes, and backgrounds. Heels have gotten higher and higher, allowing even the shortest women to even the playing field.
What High Heels Do to Your Feet
Even if high heels make your feet and legs look fantastic, you could be setting yourself up for health problems down the road. Just think about how your feet feel after eight hours in high heels. After rubbing your calves and resting your feet, you may feel right as rain, but that doesn’t mean that high heels should be part of your routine.
When you wear high heels, these are just some of the negative side effects you may experience:
- Chronic pain and muscle spasms: High heels shift your weight and change the natural way that you carry your body. Your body tries to compensate for these changes, causing your muscles to change over a long period of time. This can lead to muscle spasms and chronic pain caused by them.
- A decrease in muscle-tendon efficiency: Muscles and tendons work together to increase walking efficiency and avoid taxing any one part of the muscle-tendon connection. However, high heels throw off this balance and overtax your tendons. This can wear your tendons out at a young age.
- Spider veins: Holding your feet in an unnatural position for hours every day affects your blood flow. It also puts extra stress on your calf muscles. Together, these factors can cause burst capillaries, leaving behind those lovely spider veins that we all want!
- Unsteadiness: As you walk, you should be able to shift your weight from the back of your foot to the front. High heels make this impossible. Unsteadiness is not natural, and it may lead to a rolled ankle or broken bone.
- Unequal weight distribution: Rather than allowing your weight to be equally distributed over your feet, high heels require you to balance more on your toes. Over time, this can lead to chronic back pain.
You don’t need high heels to look great and stand tall. Wear comfortable shoes and save your ability to walk. You’ll thank yourself in your older years!