The Ugly Truth About: High Heels

High heels have long been synonymous with sophistication, elegance, and power. However, despite being a strong ally in the encounter of beauty, it can cause many harms when used in an exaggerated way.

We have a wide variety of models, styles, and colors, as well as height and types of heels. Therefore, it’s important to understand a little of the influence of each one in the posture and wandering of those who can not live without these “darlings”.

Before explaining a little about the impact of each type of heel in the body, it’s important to understand how the harm can be caused.

First, it is interesting to keep in mind that our foot was made in an exact way to support our weight and give us functionality and that is why there are foot arches, that is, for support and distribution of body weight. They are medial longitudinal, lateral longitudinal and transverse.


The medial longitudinal arch is formed by the calcaneus, talus, navicular, Iº and IIº metatarsal bones. The lateral longitudinal arch is formed by the calcaneus, cuboid, III, IV and Vº metatarsal bones. Consequently, the transversal arch consists of the cuneiform bones (medial, intermediate and lateral), cuboid and base of the five metatarsal bones. The conservation of the correct angulation of these arches avoids the extension of the imbalance of the superior structures of the skeleton.

Another important point is circulation. For proper functioning of our circulatory system, there is an ideal position of the feet: flat on the ground for efficient blood pumping.


This is why heels that have a height of >6cm are harmful to health. This is because they increase the pressure that the body exerts on the feet. Besides, the fact that the heel is raised causes the center of gravity of the body to be thrown forward, resulting in an inadequate weight distribution, increasing stress on the knee joint. Furthermore, it usually occurs the increase of the lordosis to compensate the inclination and shortening of the muscles of the calf, generating pain and limitation when it’s without the high heel.

Have you got afraid to wear high heels after discovering these little things? No need to be! Of course that the type of heel influences a lot, for example, thicker ones generate a larger base, therefore, produce more balance than the needle type, which favors the loss of balance. The platform type elevates the front of the foot, so there’s no weight overload, thus reducing contractions in the calf. However, it predisposes to ankle sprains due to damage in balance. To better distinguish the weight, the Wedge Sandals are the most indicated.


It’s important that the heel doesn’t have >3cm and that it isn’t used for more than six hours per week. However, if you can’t (because your job requires) or can’t live without these darlings, here it goes some tips:

  • Opt for the wider, square shoes or platform.
  • Try to take turns with smaller heels.
  • If your job requires the use of high heels, try to take a few minutes rest for your feet.
  • Stretch the musculature of the feet, as well as the calf.
  • Make 8 cups of chamomile tea, pour into a bowl and keep your feet there for 30 minutes. The chamomile has properties that will aid in the relaxation of your feet.
  • Massage the intrinsic musculature of the foot with a moisturizer.


Gabriela Marques

– Graduating in Physiotherapy at the Catholic University of Pelotas, with experience in Kinesiology at York University – Canada and currently vice-president of the Academic League of Physiotherapy in Intensive Care Therapy – UCPel.



2 Comments Add yours

    1. Lina Levien says:

      I’m so glad to know! Thank you!


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