High-heeled footwear has been popular on and off for thousands of years. High heels were first thought to be worn by horsemen in ancient Persia as far back as the 9th century, and cowboy boots today still have high heels designed to keep a rider’s foot in the stirrups.
Most high heeled footwear, however, was created for fashion or status, not function. In medieval Europe, aristocrats wore high-heeled shoes to make themselves look taller and more important (which is the origin of the term “well-heeled”). In the time of King Louis the 14th, members of the royal court were the only people permitted to wear high-heeled shoes. High heels were too impractical for common people, who had to walk everywhere and work on their feet. In more recent times, shoe heel heights have gone up and down with changing trends—platform shoes, stilettos and high wedge shoes have all been popular in the past 50 years.
While high heels will probably always be popular in high fashion, medical science has proven that wearing high heels consistently can cause serious damage to the feet. Because the heel is lifted higher than the toe, all the weight of the body is then shifted to the toes. This can lead to toe compression, which can create nerve problems, bunions and hammertoes. The lifted heel also decreases the rotation of the foot, which causes more stress on the knee and contributes to degeneration in the knee joint.
High heels also alter a person’s stride and gait and create or exacerbate lower back pain. Okabashi chiropractor and podiatrist approved shoes will keep your feet healthy and your walk natural.