Are High Heels Bad For You?
Sure, they make you look sexy—but is it worth the pain?
Style icon Victoria Beckham is known worldwide for her enormous sunglasses, super-skinny body, tight leather pants and how-high-are-they- anyway stiletto heels.
Now, though, she’s been linked with something a lot more unsightly: bunions. Years of wearing towering heels have left their mark on Beckham’s feet. And not only do the unsightly bumps look bad, she may have to have surgery to get rid of them—and face a recovery period without the heels she loves so much. (Recovery after bunion surgery can take up to six months.)
And for Beckham, the recovery may be worse than the problem. “I beyond hate ballerina flats,” she said, according to the British newspaper The Daily Mail. “I can’t walk on them…I love heels.” Although she’s in such pain from wearing heels, Beckham dreads not being able to wear them at all. According to a friend quoted in The Daily Mail, “She fears [the operation] will compromise her ability to wear high heels and ruin her stylish look.”
Beckham is an extreme case – how many women do you know who wear boots with seven-inch heels that cost thousands of dollars? – but many women suffer similar conditions from wearing heels that are simply too high.
Jacqueline Sutera, D.P.M., who has a practice in Manhattan and New Jersey, says wearing heels too much affects your body as well as your feet. “Heels that are too high cause back pain, because all the weight of the body goes to the forefoot,” she says. “You can throw out your back and get sciatica (pain in the sciatic nerve, which goes from the back to the leg).”