11 Harmful Side Effects Of Wearing High Heels

Wearing High Heels

Wearing high heels is a popular way for most women to look sophisticated and stylish. From Marilyn Monroe to top-notch Hollywood celebrities of today’s time, high heels have been just another name for elegance, style and luxury. However, comfort and high heels never go well together. As the old saying goes, “beauty is pain”, high heels too come with certain side effects, which you must be aware of. The negative effects of wearing high heels are not just limited to your feet; it can cause many other long-lasting harmful health effects as well. As per the American Osteopathic Association, one third of women who wear high heels regularly are suffering from mild to severe problems related to feet, toes, ankles, calves, knees, spine and back.

Following Are 11 Of Those Harmful Side Effects:

1. Hyperextension In Toes:

Prolonged wear of high heels causes excessive joint movement around your toes, which often straightens or opens up the angle formed by the bones in that particular area beyond its healthy or normal range of motion. So, if you are one of those who wear high heels all the time, you may end up getting your toes fixed in permanent hyperextension.

Hyperextension In Toes

2. Pain In Knee Joint:

Another adverse effect of wearing high heels is that it puts excessive pressure on the knee joint. When you wear high heels, your legs are curved in an unhealthy angle, which often results in knee pain. Prolonged wear can even cause osteoarthritis.

Pain In Knee Joint

3. Weakens Ligaments:

Ligaments refer to a short band of flexible fibrous tissues that hold together the joints around your feet by connecting various bones and cartilages. Long-term wear of high heels often results in weaker ligaments that eventually lead to various feet-related injuries.

Weakens Ligaments

4. Hammer Toes:

Hammer toes refer to a condition, in which your toes are fixed in a bent position, permanently downwards. This deformity of the foot mainly happens because of the excessive strain on your back and calves due to wearing high heels too frequently for a long period of time. Remember, high heels may look luxurious, stylish and great in appearance, but the fact remains unchanged that they put your feet in an unnatural and unhealthy position.

Hammer Toes

5. Tighten Blood Vessels:

Most stilettos are designed in a way that puts your feet into an excessively squeezed position, which is neither comfortable nor natural nor healthy. It does make your feet look thinner, longer and stylish, but at the same time, the kind of stress it puts on your feet often leads to constricted blood flow. Prolonged wear can even result in damaging or breaking the blood vessels around your feet.

Tighten Blood Vessels

6. Back Pain:

The higher your heels are, the more awkward the degree of your spinal curve would be. This awkward spinal curve makes your waist look slenderer and offers you a chance to flaunt your hourglass figure, but at the same time, it can also result in mild to severe pain in your lower and upper back region.

Back Pain

7. Ankle Strain:

Walking on even surfaces with high heels should be okay to your ankles, but if you hit cobblestones, bumps or potholes, you might slip, which can cause ankle sprain. Not to mention, if you fall, it can even result in broken ankles besides bruises in your knees and elbows. In more unfortunate cases, falling on the floor with high heels can even make you suffer a concussion.

Ankle Strain

8. Foot Pain:

Foot pain is one of the most common side effects of wearing high heels that most women often suffer from. In order to put your feet in a certain shape and design that should look glamorous, most footwear with high heels fix your heel, arch, sole and toes in a very uncomfortable position, which often results in sharp pain in all those regions.

Foot Pain

9. Sore Calf Muscles:

If you love to flaunt your toned legs, you should definitely avoid too much wearing of high, pointed heels because it can protrude the veins in your calf muscles, which are not just extremely painful but also something that can lead to ugly-looking, sore calves.

Sore Calf Muscles

10. Damaged Toe Nails:

Prolonged wear of high heels is also one of the major reasons for ingrown damaged toe nails. This happens because wearing high heels compresses your toes in such a way that the toe nails begin to grow into the skin. This condition does not just make your toe nails look ugly but can also result in certain other infections in the toe region.

Damaged Toe Nails

11. Calluses:

High heel shoes often cause excessive pressure and friction on the sides of your toes and feet. Overtime, it results in hardening of the skin in those regions. This hardening of the skin looks ugly and is termed as calluses.


Overall, you can see wearing high heels may look very glamorous, but it can also lead to several health issues. Therefore, you are advised not to wear this particular accessory every day. Once or twice a week should be okay. It is better if you wear it only on special occasions.