Researchers Say They're Evil and Addictive

Speaking of heels, according to a new study published in the Journal of Experimental Biology, reported by LiveScience, regular high-heel wearing can lead to damaging changes in the calf muscle and tendons--even to the degree than women may feel pain when not wearing stilettos. In other words, heels can become addictive.

It has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that wearing high heel shoes is a public health hazard and contribute to numerous serious injuries. Here’s a list of high heel shoe-related injuries published by the Mayo Clinic:

• Corns and calluses. Thick, hardened layers of skin develop in areas of friction between your shoe and your foot. . . .
• Toenail problems. Constant pressure on your toes and nail beds from being forced against the front of your shoe by a high heel can lead to nail fungus and ingrown toenails.
• Hammertoe. When your toes are forced against the front of your shoe, an unnatural bending of your toes results. This can lead to hammertoe . . .
• Bunions. Tight fitting shoes may worsen bunions — bony bumps that form on the joint at the base of your big toe. . . .
• Tight heel cords. If you wear high heels all the time, you risk tightening and shortening your Achilles tendon. . .
• Pump bump. Also known as Haglund’s deformity, this bony enlargement on the back of your heel can become aggravated by the rigid backs or straps of high heels. . .
• Neuromas. A growth of nerve tissue. . .A neuroma causes sharp, burning pain in the ball of your foot accompanied by stinging or numbness in your toes.
• Joint pain in the ball of the foot . . . This causes increased pressure, strain and pain in your forefoot. Shoes with tightfitting toe boxes can lead to similar discomfort.
• Stress fractures. Tiny cracks in one of the bones of your foot.

There is anecdotal evidence from the 1950s that secretaries experienced discomfort when they took off their high heels and walked barefoot, which also suggest wearing high heels causes changes. The study participants included 11 women (average age 43) who had worn stiletto high heels (at least 2 inches, or 5 centimeters high) for five days a week for two years or more. Most of the subjects said they felt discomfort when they were standing barefoot. A control group of nine women who did not regularly wear high heels was also included.
High heels cripple your feet, give you bunions and do terrible things to your back - and what's worse, they are getting ever higher. So why on earth do so many women inflict such pain upon themselves?

In a 2008 article by Sally Feldman in the New Humanist called "The Heights of Madness", the high heel is compared to Victorian corsets: uncomfortable and extreme clothing meant to provide visual appeal. Feldman also calls the high heel a "battleground in sexual politics."

A 2008 article in The Telegraph says that four out of five women admit to having worn inappropriate footwear while driving. While this can include flip flops, imagine trying to drive a manual transmission automobile while wearing stilettos or extreme high heels. Out of 750 surveyed, seven admitted to having accidents or near misses because of their poor choice in footwear.

In a 2010 book entitled Bad Shoes and the Women Who Love Them, author Leora Tanenbaum writes, "In all seriousness, I suggest that pointy-toed, high-heeled shoes should come with a warning printed on the shoe box. These shoes are a health hazard. Wearing them for prolonged periods on a regular basis may lead to deformity, pain and ugly feet. Your achilles tendons may shorten, making it impossible to wear flats even if you want to. Wear with caution."

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A recent research made by graduating student of University of Alberta revealed that female restaurant and cocktail servers fall down on the job an average of 1.6 times every week and the high heeled shoes they wear are mostly the causes of the accidents.
What can be done to reduce high heeled-prone accidents at the work place?
It was recommended that industry standards for women footwear be put in place in companies worldwide.

Recommendations: wider, 1/2 inch or one-inch high maximum.
Work shoes should have slip-resistant soles.

At the current time, it is claimed that most employers require their workers to wear high heeled shoes on the job and only about 23 percent received suggestions on what is best for women to wear at work.

Aretha Franklin loves her Jimmy Choos, but they don't love her back. The singer was sent to the hospital with a fractured toe after she stepped on her spiked Choo shoe. That's right, she wasn't even wearing them when they injured her. Just stepping on one of the heels was so extreme it sent her ankle on a one way train to twist city.

Add it to the annals of accidents caused by architecturally impossible footwear. U.S. Open tennis champ Kim Clijsters tore ligaments in her ankle when she stepped on someone else's foot while wearing heels at a wedding. She had to keep her foot immobile for a month following the misstep.

In Australia, a woman was recently awarded around $60,000 after she tripped and fell down the stairs of a hotel she was staying at. Her nude stilettos actually became key evidence in her court case, and stood trial as a considerable cause of the fall. In the end, the judge decided that women were entitled to their heels even if it leaves them more susceptible to accidents.