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High-Heels Increa​se Risk for Foot Problems

I love the look of high-heel shoes and h​ow they make me seem taller. Does wearing them set me up for future foot problems?

“Wearing high-heeled footwear increases your risk for developing foot problems and can complicate any foot disorders you may already have,” says Roxanne Toole, D.P.M., a specialist in Podiatry at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic.

Dr. Toole says problems that may occur include bunions, corns, calluses, hammertoes and increased likelihood of an ankle sprain.

“And if you have diabetes, you are at greater risk for developing more serious medical complications,” she warns.

She says high-heels put feet in a downward-pointing position, placing an increased and unnatural amount of pressure on your forefoot.

“The lower part of your body leans forward while the upper part of your body must lean back to keep you balanced. This is not your body's normal standing position.”

Dr. Toole says leg and back strain are also common complaints from those wearing high heels.

“Poor alignment caused by wearing high heels, may lead to muscle overuse and back pain,” she says.

Dr. Toole understands that high-heels can look fashionable. She advises wearing them only for special occasions with a sensible heel height that doesn’t overly compromise your balance.

“If you’re concerned about foot problems, see a qualified podiatrist. Your feet – and body – will thank you for it,” concludes Dr. Toole, who cares for patients at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic – Downtown at The Shops at Houston Center and Kelsey-Seybold’s Kingwood and Main Campus clinic locations.​

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Roxanne Toole, DPM

​I believe to treat a patient well, you need to know them. It is important to understand the demands of their daily lives and how their pain affects their activities. It is important to educate them on their diagnosis so that they can become an active part of their own treatment.​