|What damage are high heels doing to your feet? Photograph: Getty Images/Untitled X-Ray|
Most of these injuries were foot and ankle sprains in women between the ages of 20 and 30 in the evening: alcohol and high heels are not a good mix. High heels push the centre of gravity forwards and upwards so you have to constantly change your posture to keep your balance.
Professor Neil Cronin of the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland, author of a review of the long-term effects of high heels, warns that they increase the changes in length that a muscle goes through when you walk. Usually that change is small. But wear high heels and it is larger, and the strain goes more through the tendon joining the muscle to the bone, as it usually does. The Achilles tendon at the heel can shorten and get stiff. Cronin says women who wear heels for years develop such chronically short muscles and tendons that when they try to wear flat shoes again their calves hurt. Studies have also suggested high heels increase the risk of arthritis, but it’s difficult to prove. So should you stick to flats?