High heel horror: The dangers associated with the fashion trend

Doctor Reveals Dangers Associated With High Heel Fashion Trend
Doctor Reveals Dangers Associated With High Heel Fashion Trend


It's been a fashion trend for centuries and most women have at least one pair in their closet.

But those stilettos could have some debilitating health effects that will affect you long after the shoes come off.

Ever since Dorothy's ruby-red shoes and Carrie's closet obsession, women have been going gaga for high heels, the higher the better for some.

"Then I'm at least almost his height," one woman said.

"And they look good! That's why," her boyfriend chimed in.

"Heels are extremely worth it," another young woman said.

"They do a lot of great things for your posture, they're pretty to look at. I mean, what is fashion? It's something that's pretty to look at," said Kylie Kirkland, a student at Oklahoma State University. "It's all about aesthetics."

If you think it's always been a woman's accessory, think again.

"The person who really got the high heels going for what we know of today was Louis the 14th, believe it or not," said Mary Ruppert-Stroescu, a professor at Oklahoma State University.

While they may have started as a man's fashion statement, it's definitely become a woman's world.

In fact, women spend an average of $20,000 on shoes in a lifetime.

It's a high price, but you could be spending a lot more at the doctor's office.

"Pinched nerves or hammer toes or bunions; they also have increased tendonitis and heel pain," said Dr. Scott Shields, a metro podiatrist. "There's a lot of evidence that it can hurt your knees and your back."

One study found a 26 percent increase in knee-joint pressure when a woman wears her perfect pumps.

"It can get to the point you have to do surgery," Dr. Shields said.

Kirkland says she knows the pain firsthand.

"I took one misstep and snap," she said.

A party in monstrous six-inch heels turned into a trip to the doctor's office for Kirkland.

"I broke my ankle and my fibula at the same time. It was really great," Kirland said sarcastically.

It was all for the sake of style.

"I would tell women to enjoy their life, to wear what makes them happy, but pick a shoe that doesn't hurt," Dr. Shields said.

Many women wonder if that is even possible.

"Really try to stay away from the sale bin," Dr. Shields said. "If you're going to wear a dressy high heel shoe, buy a better one."

Dr. Shields said it should be an indulgence rather than a daily routine.

"I can go to Braum's and buy an ice cream, but I can't do it every day, so kind of do that with your shoes," he said.

It's a lesson learned for Kirkland.

"I'm not going to wear them again unless somebody's holding my hand the whole time," Kirkland said.

Dr. Shields said they did a survey and found 49 percent of the women who were questioned said they wear high heels. More than three-quarters of those women said wearing the stilettos hurt their feet.