Heels Vs Flats
Heels can cause:Fracturing of foot bones.
Ingrown toe nails.
Inflammation of balls of feet.
Broken limbs from falling off super-high heels.
Benefit of heels:
They make legs look more elegant – and sexier!
Better for power dressing.
Can help certain posture problems.
Kinder on your Achilles.
Can help heal sore hamstrings.
Flats can cause:
Feet to roll inwards pulling ligaments apart and causing shooting pains along the bottom of the feet.
Big toe to be pulled out of alignment with the foot, causing pain and stiffness.
Inflammation and arthritis under kneecap.
Inflammation and shin pain (shin splints).
They can also make legs look stumpy!
Benefits of flats:
Less likely to sprain ankle.
Better for back health.
Helps maintain egos of short boyfriends.
WE’VE all heard how damaging super-stilettos can be to feet but now experts are warning FLAT SHOES can be just as dangerous.
Foot docs are even urging people to strap on sexy heels to keep their feet healthy.
Podiatrists are alarmed at the rising number of foot injuries caused by plodding around in ballet pumps and flip flops. Although comfortable, flat shoes can cause severe foot pain, bunions, shooting pains in the shins, back aches and even arthritis.
Mike O’Neill, consultant podiatric surgeon and spokesman for the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists, said: “Over the last three to four years we’ve had a significant increase in the number of problems caused be wearing flat shoes such as ballet pumps or flip flops. I’ve seen three or four just in the last week.”
And ditching frumpy flats could also boost your sex life. Italian researchers (surprisingly enough) found women who wear a heel of one to two inches may have more fun between the sheets.
The body posture adopted while wearing heels improves the pelvic floor muscles, which help to create a mind-blowing climax.
Can flat shoes really be as bad as killer heels? Dr O’Neill explains: “Very flat shoes worn for long periods of time can cause problems, and very high heels worn for long periods of time can also cause problems. The feet aren’t designed to work in either. The ideal heel size is around an inch.”
He expects the problem to get worse as the weather warms up and people dig out their flip flops and trendy “gladiator” sandals. These summer staples can be particularly bad news for our backs.
“We’re seeing more cases of people in their 20s and 30s going on holiday, wearing flip flops around the pool and coming back with serious back problems,” adds Dr O’Neill.
Flat shoes mess up our bodies in a number of ways. First, they cause people to shuffle instead of walk, which can ruin posture.
“If you wear shoes such as ballet pumps for a long time, the back of the shoe tends to wear down, and you end up shuffling along like an old lady wearing slippers.”
However, they inflict the most damage on feet. Flat shoes cause the feet to roll inwards, stretching ligaments and tendons. The stretched ligaments pull toes out of alignment with the rest of the foot, causing severe pain. This can eventually cause bunions.
Furthermore, when the feet roll in they pull the knees with them. Forced into an awkward angle, the knee caps become inflamed, painful, and in worst cases, arthritic.
“Lots of sports people get this type of knee pain. But we see it in non-sports people in their early 20s,” says Dr O’Neill.
Walking up hills or running in flats can also bring trouble, as the lack of support causes inflammation along the shin, prompting shooting pains called shin splints.
Dr O’Neill says teens are particularly at risk (see panel). Although they may not notice any problems while their feet are growing, they can be storing up problems for their 20s and 30s.
“Teens usually get away with it but it’s only in later years they start suffering. Wear bad shoes and you might get bunions at 35.”
But Dr O’Neill doesn’t recommend avoiding flats altogether. After all, not many of us relish tottering around like Posh Spice. “Flats are fine to wear for a couple of days a week but the problem arises when people wear them for six months at a time.”
O’Neil also believes the drive to slim down for summer could bring another problem as people across the country dig out their old trainers. These could cause foot and back pain.
“People start doing sports around this time of the year and pulling out old shoes that tend to have lost their support. They also tend to wear baseball boots as trainers, which can be disastrous.”
So if you’re planning on getting sweaty to shape up for summer get proper trainers.
After all, it’s hard to look hot in your bikini if you’re hobbling down the beach.
Case study: 'Ballet pump shoes
have left me in constant pain'
TEENAGER Jordana Killick is proof that wearing flat shoes can leave you in agony.
Jordana, 16, had no idea why she was crippled by foot pain. It got so bad, the schoolgirl from Enfield, North London, even made several trips to A&E.
Mum Natasha, 38, a nurse, said: “Some mornings, Jordana woke up in absolute agony.
‘We tried hot baths, ice-packs and anti-inflammatory gels. But nothing worked.
“It got so bad we even went to A&E but staff there were unable to do anything.”
It was only when Jordana was referred to local podiatrist Emma Supple that her shoes were found to be the culprit.
Jordana was never out of her ballet pump-style flats – but they were destroying her feet.
Emma said: “The pain was down to her choice of shoes. The foot and arches flatten out in flat shoes, causing excessive tilting and rotating.
“This can lead to significant foot pain in the big toes. By wearing shoes with a slight heel, feet are supported.
“It’s also important to stretch the calf muscles and the Achilles tendon. If these shorten or tighten, it can make a bad foot even worse.”
For avoiding foot and leg pain, Emma also recommends keeping weight down, avoiding slip-on shoes and choosing one-inch heels for every-day wear.
Jordana threw away her dolly-style shoes and has taken on a daily exercise routine to loosen up muscles in her calves and ankles.
To stretch the calf muscles, she leans against a wall, bends the front leg and straightens the back one. She does this three times a day for 40 seconds at a time.
But Jordana has struggled to stay motivated – and still feels pain despite the exercises.
Natasha said: “I did the exercises with her but she still got bored.
“I bought her boots with a slight heel, as recommended by Emma, and we incorporated special insoles.
‘But these were quite hard and Jordana experienced pain. She switched to softer ones but these cause rubbing on the foot arches so we have to put plasters on them.”
Jordana says: “Regardless of shoe-style I always feel uncomfortable. My calves constantly hurt and feel tight.
“Pumps cause me too much pain and although I limit high heels to going out, my foot soles burn after wearing them.”
.....Ophelia Grace...............Mira Lorne...............Jude Bennett.........Liam Daniel Baines.