For most women, high heels are their guilty pleasure! They make you taller, they make you look and feel sexier, they make your legs look taller and thinner and they make you feel confident. But unfortunately, they have some negative effects on your body.

Let’s take a look at some of these high heel horrors:


Normally, your feet act like spring-loaded, weight-distributing shock absorbers, cushioning your skeleton from crazy amounts of pounding. Jam these engineering marvels into high heels and you’ve shifted much of your mass onto the balls of your feet and your tiny, delicate toe bones.

Your heel-to-toe transition becomes abrupt, forcing you to swap your natural stride for a faltering walk. Strutting like this all the time could usher in bone and nerve damage.

Ankles and Calves:

Wearing heels forces your ankles to bend forward, a movement that could restrict circulation in your lower limbs. If you’re a constant high-heel wearer, this could eventually spell spider veins.

Walking in heels also stiffens your Achilles tendons, which anchor your calf muscles to your heels, causing your calves to bunch up. If you’ve had your heels on all day, you might have trouble walking naturally when you first kick off your shoes.


Another pro shock absorber, the knee is the largest joint in your body. It’s built to take a licking, but frequent high-heel use can put extra stress on the inner sides of the knees, fast-tracking the wear and tear that leads to osteoarthritis.


To keep from tipping over in high heels, you have to thrust your hips forward, arch your back, and push out your chest. That familiar sexy stance works the outer hip muscles and tendons hard and not in a good way.


In order to parade around in heels, your spine needs to sway unnaturally, a process that stresses your lumbar erector spine muscle. Result: sore lower back.


A high heel shoe puts your foot in a plantar flexed position, placing an increased amount of pressure on your forefoot. This causes you to adjust the rest of your body to maintain your balance. The lower part of your body leans forward and to compensate for that, the upper part of your body must lean back to keep you balanced. This is not your body’s normal standing position.


When walking, your foot is in a more fixed downward position therefore you are not able to push off the ground with as much force. This causes your hip flexor muscles in your legs to work harder to move and pull your body forward. Your knees also stay more bent and forward, causing your knee muscles to work harder.


Walking in high heel shoes is like walking on a balance beam. It takes a lot of balance and just like swaying on a beam, there is not any support in a high heel shoe to catch you if you fall. High heel shoes cause your foot and ankle to move in a supinated position. This position puts you at risk for losing your balance and spraining your ankles.

Save Your Feet:

If your car tires are out of alignment, you can only drive so many miles before you are at risk of blowing a tire. The same is true for your body. Things need to be in alignment. It is recommended that you only wear high heels for special occasions; you can also choose a slightly thicker heel as this will spread the load more evenly and wear soft insoles to reduce the impact on your knees. Your feet and body will thank you, and you’ll save money on trips to the podiatrist’s office.

Are those crucial extra inches of those to die for heels really worth the hidden cost to your body?