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High Heels

They say, beauty knows no pain – every woman thinks so and usually prefers high-heeled shoes to all other footwear. It is not surprising: everybody knows that heels make your body slimmer and your gait more beautiful. However there are some scientifically proven facts that some people prefer not to pay any attention to. And in the meantime orthopedists warn that constantly wearing high heels is a great problem for legs and feet as well as for the entire body.

Milena Sigayeva / «Zdorovie-info» 

The human foot is quite a complicated structure and it consists of 28 bones, 24 joints and tissues of various muscles. The main function of feet is holding the weight and providing movement. It is possible only because of the unique structure of the foot: it has an arch shape. When it is loaded, all the 24 joints are bouncing, cushioning the body and at the same time allowing smooth motion without any pushes. 

Flat Sole

Barefoot walking is quite healthy but non-practical at all and sometimes dangerous. That’s why flat-sole footwear made of soft materials was invented. But in the course of time it became clear that such footwear doesn’t perform the cushioning function. As a result the arch lowers under the weight and the foot is splayed. It causes a foot deformity (flat-footedness) and also an excruciating pain. That’s why flat-sole shoes should be worn only one or two hours a day.

History of Heel 

It is not quite clear how and where the heel appeared. According to one of the versions a small heel was worn by people in Ancient Egypt. It was invented by peasants: the heel prevented them from bogging down in the ground during field works. In the 16th century heels appeared in Europe as well: till the French Revolution they were symbols of prosperity and nobility. Beside that heels helped keep the feet in the stirrups during military exercises and horse-riding. Such a small heel was worn by both women and men. In the 19th century heels higher than 2 cm became just a women’s attribute with the exception of cowboy boots with a four or five-centimeter heel.


The high heel provokes a constant fight between comfort, functionality and beauty. No doubt that high-heeledshoes make a woman look just more attractive. However in the course of time there appear some very unpleasant changes. Due to the higher load on the toes, the great toes start deviating and lumps form on the interior side of the foot. The foot becomes flatter and flat-footedness develops causing a strong pain. Wearing high-heeled shoes leads to blood circulation disorder due to stretching and compression of the soft tissues.

In serious cases only a double surgery can help. It includes two stages: first, the foot bones are fixed by means of metallic joints and screws, and the second surgery implies removing these implants. The newest orthopedic invention is dissolving implanted screws. The special biological material they are made of dissolves in about 15 months that’s why the second surgery is unnecessary. And though these devices make the surgery easier it is better not to let the problem grow so serious and prevent it as early as possible.

Individual supination insoles are an effective preventive measure at the early stages. The insole material is heated by a special device. The sole becomes elastic and gets the shape and size of your foot.

Such an insole makes it a bit easier to wear heeled footwear: it supports the arch and provides even distribution of the weight on the foot. This simple measure prevents bone deformities, formation of lumps and flat-footedness. Your foot will keep the right shape.

Specialist in foot surgery, treatment of injuries and arthrosis and endoprosthetics and Candidate of Medicine Makinyan Levon Gagikovich said in his interview with “Zdorovie-info” that heels should be worn only when the skeleton has fully formed. And not to harm your body you should wear heels no longer than 2 hours a day. Use insoles if needed. However readymade insoles are not always good as every foot has its peculiarities and that’s why it is better and more efficient to use custom made insoles.

Before going shopping for insoles, go and see an orthopedist. He will examine you and advise you an orthopedic center where insoles are made. Note that for some social categories insoles are made for free.

- The average price for Russian orthopedic insoles is 3000 rubles and insoles made in the USA can be 12,000 rubles and we should note that they are less comfortable. 

Just like shoes, insoles also get worn. Their endurance mainly depends on your lifestyle: whether you are jumping, walking or driving while wearing them. Beside that the body weight is also important here. They can serve from 6 months to two years.

You don’t to have to give up heels forever. But if you wear them, don’t do that for more than two hours and order individual insoles. Let your feet rest from time to time: wear sandals or walk barefoot. Try some simple exercises – lift small objects with your toes. Don’t hesitate if you have noticed a deformity in your feet, go to the doctor: timely treatment is the best way to avoid a surgery.

It is scientifically proven: shoes with a three or four-centimeter heel keep the arch in the perfect position. That’s why it is recommended to wear such footwear during the day.

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