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Every girl loves a cute pair of shoes. Flats and boots dominate on campus during the day, but when the sun goes down the heels come out – the higher the better. Other than the obvious challenges of high heels, like climbing SU’s snowy hills, heels can actually be very harmful for your feet and the rest of your body.
The biggest problem with heels is that they don’t provide any support, meaning that it is easy to lose your balance or sprain an ankle. Heels cause you to lean forward, placing most of the pressure on the balls of your feet. High heels increase the pressure normally placed on your feet by 76 percent, causing back pain or even deformities to your toes.
If you regularly wear heels, your feet will become used to the unusual positioning. Because the heel of your foot is elevated, the tendons in your leg may shorten over time, so wearing flat shoes will become painful.
Women will continue to wear high heels, despite their negative effects, but there are ways to prevent injuries. The best thing you can do for your feet is to wear heels in moderation, rotating between flats and heels, or saving the high heels for special occasions only. The American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society suggests wearing heels two inches or shorter. If you feel like you can’t give up your four-inch heels, look for shoes with more straps, which will give you better ankle support. Platform heels and wedges can also give you more height while providing balance.
If you’re like me, you can’t imagine getting dressed up without a good pair of heels. My four-and-a-half-inch black booties were a staple in my wardrobe, regardless of the painful walks home at the end of the night. You don’t have to give up heels altogether, but skip the stilettos every so often and try some flats.
By Fiona O’Connor