Suffering for fashion through killer heels can cause serious ankle sprains and breaks, stretched ligaments and tendons, and deformities like hammer toes and bunions (eww!). Did you know Victoria Beckham, who won’t be seen with anything less than four-inch heels, recently had bunion surgery? Double eww!
“When you wear heels, you change your center of balance, leading to increased curvature of your back,” says Judy F. Baumhauer, an orthopedic surgeon and president of the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society. Most doctors recommend a maximum height of two inches.
But who are we kidding, right? For evening affairs, gala events and special occasions, sexy stilettos are de rigueur. So we’re not entirely giving up on Christian, Sergio, Jimmy and Manolo just yet, because these guys make such good shoes you’ll love to hate. I swear! They have the art and science of shoemaking down to a T, we can walk gracefully in their creations for hours—or at least for the length of a fancy soirée.
You see, dahhhlings, there is an appropriate time and occasion to wear them—just as there is appropriate time and occasion to wear your fur, your sweats, or your ex-boyfriend’s shirt.
Lately, though, we’ve noticed that the average height of high-heeled shoes worn by women in malls (not to mention airports) has skyrocketed to five inches, as if they were the next Adriana or Alessandra! While they look lovely at first glance, we can only imagine these pretty young things crying (in pain) on the inside.
Another thing we can’t stand are teens wearing sky-high heels meant for a stripper club, instead of school. Oh, dear. “This semester, the segment that has gone to the university clinic for twisted ankles is the fourth- and fifth-year students with their corporate attire,” writes a professor from the most expensive local university on his FB wall. “Six-inch-high shoes are definitely in vogue on campus.”
We’re not telling you to cruise around in dirt-cheap flats or flip-flops, either (now don’t get me started on those!) because studies have shown that totally flat flats, with no cushioning or arch support, can cause damage as well.
But if you must purchase another pair of stilettos (they’re still an addiction for me, I tell yah!), make sure to try on the pair and walk in them to check balance and sturdiness.
Can you rest your entire weight on the heel without having to balance on the ball of your foot? Are you comfortable enough? Do your feet have ample room and breathing space? Do they fit well? Are the straps snug enough? Are the shoes strong enough to carry you without shaking?
And most important, when purchasing any type and style of shoes (flats or heeled), do they offer stability and support? Do you still have good posture wearing them?
We’re just saying, don’t suffer for fashion’s sake. Leave the armadillos to the Lady Gagas of this world and the bunions to Victoria. What’s wrong with sensible shoes? And what’s wrong with choosing health over looks?
“Luxury must be comfortable,” declared the wise (and always chic) Coco Chanel, “Otherwise, it is not luxury.”
Reprinted from Look Magazine, July-August 2012