Study Finds High Heels Cause Muscle Strain: Are They Worth the Pain?

Living 2012/01/26 22:10:30
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Women and men agree on one thing: high heels are sexy. But a new study finds that women who commonly wear high heels walk differently than those who usually wear flats -- and may pay a price when they get home at the end of the day.

"We think that the large muscle strains that occur when walking in heels may ultimately increase the likelihood of strain injuries," study researcher Neil J. Cronin told The New York Times.

In results published last week in The Journal of Applied Physiology, scientists found that stiletto-lovers moved with shorter, more forceful strides than the those who usually wore flats, the paper reports. The heel-wearers' feet tended to have a flexed, toes-pointed position, even when walking barefoot, shortening the fibers in their calf muscles and putting more strain on them.

As a result, the researchers believe that wearing high heels causes a woman to use more energy to cover the same amount of ground as a woman wearing flats, leading to muscle fatigue.

Yikes! Our feet are tired enough at the end of the day even when we wear sneakers! Do you think high heels are worth the strain -- and pain? Or is it sexier when a woman looks carefree and comfortable?
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Top Opinion

  • GirlGoingGreen 2012/01/26 22:54:55 (edited)
    Go with flats. They still can be formal, but actually save your feet some strain. Heels kill. They are not worth ruining your leg/foot.
    formal flats
    danger of heels

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  • Lew 2014/03/21 07:48:34 (edited)
    There are all kinds of yeas and nays, but it all boils down to an individual's right to choose their own attire for their adornment. Obviously, wearing high heels is not for everyone no matter whatever or however this has been determined and some will wear them come hell or heaven. I also noted that there are people who equate a person's mental well-being or worth by that person's decision whether or not to wear high heels, which seems self-condescending and very intolerant of individuality. It seems the attitude of society is too inflict its will upon those who choose not to follow the norms of the day. It has programmed its members into thinking it is all right to force their will upon others, because the members have concluded that it is best for everyone to have the same ideas in making their choices. Actually these matters should be left to each individual for any consideration as to how that person should proceed.

    Now I have worn high heels for a substantial number of years and through my experience pain and foot deformities don't have to be inherent factors when wearing heels. Each person has to do some preparation in finding the right footwear for the look they desire. This preparation includes: the best sizing for the fit and comfort, the willingness to spend time becoming familiar with their feel and limitations according to your body's ability to adapt, knowing when they are worth it or when it's time to find other possibilities.
  • Icon 2012/02/20 22:58:50
    Not if they are hurting you. Shop different brands or buy a different size, but never settle for pain.
  • 1DLover 2012/02/13 23:58:26
    Well sometime
  • michael 2012/02/06 00:06:54
  • BILL 2012/02/03 00:48:41
    That would have to be up to the woman it's her feet.
  • S123 2012/02/01 08:13:03
    At least not for me. I've never worn them, so I don't know what they're like, but I think they must be painful/uncomfortable, at least at first. I'm asexual (not sexually attracted to anyone) and aromantic, so I don't care about looking sexy.
  • Akes88 S123 2012/02/06 00:44:56
    So this is off topic but being asexual n aromantic doesnt mean u cant dress up 4 urself. sometimes u wanna wear something jus cause it makes u feel good, at least i know i do.
  • S123 Akes88 2012/02/10 02:16:57
    I know, dressing up can be nice, it just seems like the big thing about wearing high heels, for most people, is that they are supposed to look sexy and that dosn't matter to me.
  • [Katsu]™ 2012/02/01 03:05:35
    Well obviously they cause muscle strain. What, are people just realizing this now? I always thought it was rather as I already said.. obvious.

    I do believe they are worth it. They look good and are fun to wear.
  • Scrappy Coco 2012/01/31 23:02:12
    Scrappy Coco
    While I may be in the minority here (mainly because I am a man and I wear heels). To me they are worth the "pain". For me I'm 5'6" which is short in terms of normal male height. So I wear high heels mostly for the added height not for the "sex appeal". While I do agree that they do change the way you have to walk the higher you go, and a do agree that the more you wear them the more dangerous effects they can have. It all comes down to common sense. Ie not wearing something that is too high for you to manage and if your feet or legs start to tire and hurt take them off and wear flats. And above all making sure that they fit right that to me is the most important. Yes this is me and I wear them whenever I want
  • omgwtfroflmao 2012/01/31 19:02:15 (edited)
    PLEASE READ: This a a REVERSE answer if you will. Let me explain. High heels SHOULDNT cause significant discomfort from wearing them. If your shoes are hurting your feet, something is WRONG. Most likely you're wearing the wrong size and or width shoe to properly support some part of your foot, causing your muscles to strain, and your foot to hurt. Dont think I know what im talking about because im I guy? I own a pair of these: support foot causing muscles strain foot hurt talking guy pair

    You can get them at target. I haven spent an entire day in them, on a few occasions.. They are REALLY comfortable. I have walked a mile in her shoes, so I do know what im talking about. My girlfriend can RUN in heels.

    Shoes can hurt your feet no matter what the heel size, style, or gender they were made for if they're not the right size.
  • Tiffany 2012/01/31 18:18:15
    Way too uncomfortable for me. I can only handle wearing heels for short term periods at really special occasions. I love some nice flat sandals, but not those painful thong sandals!
  • Bluebird 2012/01/31 01:05:47
    Most of the heels I have seen lately aren't worth it.
  • Anna E 2012/01/31 00:58:26
    Anna E
    I wear mine, but not very much. Can't walk normally in them, and they cause sore muscles and shortened tendons.
  • Sylvia 2012/01/31 00:55:37
    I wear em' every once in a while but they aren't my preference choice of footwear.

    I'm already in these. How much worse could it get????

    pointe shoes
  • no1badboy56 2012/01/31 00:47:02 (edited)
    I love them, then again, I don't wear them. However, I sure do enjoy how it makes a woman look.

  • LdyLeo 2012/01/31 00:45:48
    I'm a female and I have never worn heels before. If I did, I would not wear them everyday; maybe if I am in the mood to wear them. Otherwise, not worth the pain.
    Monster heels
    Monster heels
    big heels
  • BeatrizYvonneBolivar 2012/01/31 00:03:07
    I Love High Heels The Higher The High Is Ther Better! ;) And Its Actually Easier And More Confortable Than Short "high Heels"
  • venus 2012/01/30 22:55:30 (edited)
    but fashion is pain and theirs some people consider it a small payment to look fabulous
  • Queen Katherine 2012/01/30 22:45:11
    Queen Katherine
    I'd rather go barefoot than wear heels.
  • dSavanna 2012/01/30 22:23:45
    And I believe every woman should know how to walk in them!
  • S123 dSavanna 2012/02/01 08:17:07
    Why do you think that?
  • dSavanna S123 2012/02/02 05:53:01
    Because I feel shame whenever I see girls walking in heels, but it looks like there's a stick up their a$$...
  • S123 dSavanna 2012/02/04 02:50:47
    Oh, okay. So, you mean every woman who wears high heels should learn how to walk in them properly.
  • T1 2012/01/30 22:10:08
    well worth it
  • Bunk11 2012/01/30 21:02:42
    I don't think high heels are sexy. I can't understand why women would wear such uncomfortable shoes. I prefer it when women are able to walk fast enough to keep up.
  • LILY 2012/01/30 20:42:19
    Im a she fanatic and these babies are worth it to me ............... gotta love these
    pumps baby
  • budgerigar42 2012/01/30 20:30:21
    High heels were invented to restrain women.
    If you're a feminist, don't wear these.
  • S123 budgeri... 2012/02/01 08:18:02
    How do you know that?
  • budgeri... S123 2012/02/01 20:28:07
    Are you really that idiotic?
  • 2226693 2012/01/30 19:49:01
  • zebsmom 2012/01/30 19:29:52
    I used to wear them more often when I was younger. Now, only for very special occasions.
  • Vanessa 2012/01/30 18:34:10
    If you sometimes wear flats and other times heels it's no problem. I never have pain. (which is good cause I'm short and my husband is 30cm taller than me)
  • ~♥~ Sullivia ~♥~ 2012/01/30 14:48:24
    ~♥~ Sullivia ~♥~
    I'm always wearing high heeled shoes at the school everyday ..coz if I'm not wear high heeled shoes I will avail violation ...every time I wear high heels...I feel my feet cramp ....that my opinion .,,,,,,

    high heels school shoes

    high heels shoes

    high heels shoes
  • jennie 2012/01/30 14:25:13
    For short amounts of time.
  • Ichigo Erben 2012/01/30 13:38:29
    Ichigo Erben
    They aren΄t good for your feed!
    You can also find some pretty and more healthy shoes.
  • Cathy 2012/01/30 13:38:03
    No, nothing is worth the pain to me concerning my feet! I only wear comfortable shoes, but stylish also. But, I will not wear heels that are 4-6 inches high, just because a lot of women or celebrities do it.
  • KrissyRawr 2012/01/30 09:01:20
    I wouldn't wear em daily lol
  • morte. 2012/01/30 08:40:30
    I love high heeled boots. I wear them all the time.
  • you_ me morte. 2012/01/30 19:33:26
    you_ me
    I agree, boots fit the foot much better and do not make the toes curl, trying to keep the foot in the shoe as with pumps and courts.
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