High heels: risking it all for fashion?

Posted by: on Nov 5, 2012 | One Comment

We love our heels; however, would you continue to wear them frequently if you knew about the damaging effects they can have on your long-term health?  Over time, women may develop a range of problems, such as: aching joints, arthritis, lower back pain, and may even suffer from muscle damage.

So why are women choosing to wear heels that keep getting higher and higher?  The answer is simple. Society has developed an obsession with heels, dating back to the Middle Ages, where women wore shoes in the style of platforms and wedges, comparable to those seen in contemporary haute couture collections.

Today, high heels receive endless publicity thanks to their celebrity wearers.  Supermodel Miranda Kerr regularly steps out in five inch Balenciaga’s, while Kylie Minogue recently appeared on the Jonathon Ross show wearing Louboutin’s over six inches high. As heels continue to increase in height, experts fear that women aren’t taking the risks to their health seriously.

Christian Louboutin Decorapumps 2 Kylie Minogue Spotted in Over the Top Christian Louboutin Decorapumps

Louboutin’s high heels are coveted by women worldwide and sell for hundreds, as well as thousands of pounds

A mini online survey, designed by myself, aimed to assess the attitudes of the modern woman towards this issue.  The first question revealed a very interesting divide in opinion: 52% of women surveyed admitted they would still wear high heels, despite being aware of the long term health risks. In comparison, 48% of women were opposed to wearing heels if they were explicitly aware of the risks they were exposed to.

When asked about the highest heel they had ever worn, most women opted for 5 inches, whereas, a small minority indicated they’d worn six inch heels. One participant commented that such high heels are “acceptable for the catwalks as the designers make aesthetic choices for their shows.”  While this is true to an extent, it appears to be a double edged sword: models frequently injure themselves because of wearing shoes which were designed for their artistic value, rather than comfort.

Interestingly, most women agreed that the increasing height of heels is dangerous. One participant shared her friend’s traumatic experience of dislocating her foot from its socket whilst wearing seven to eight inch heels, while another revealed she had broken her ankle due to wearing unsuitable heels.

Roberto-Cavalli-Spring-2013-shoes

Cavalli gives a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘killer heels’

The most important thing to consider when wearing heels is to be sensible. Pick shoes that fit you properly; accessorise them with gel inserts and insoles aimed specifically at reducing the pressure in your feet.

I think it’s safe to say that if heels continue to rise to astronomical heights, these boots will no longer be made for walking.

Simran Bhogal 

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