The Risks of High Heels and How to Avoid Them

  • By Judith Sullivan
  • 28 Mar, 2017
Author/Blogger Reggie Simpson
01 Dec 2015

'Tis the season ... don't suffer

Whether you work in a formal environment or just have an eye for high fashion, you probably have at least one pair of high heels in your wardrobe. But how often do you wear them?

Many women choose to wear high heels every day for work, and then again at the weekend! This isn’t too surprising, considering they’re a natural confidence booster. They add height and the illusion of great posture, but they can also be detrimental to the health of your feet.

Which conditions could high heels cause?

There are a number of conditions that could occur as a result of high heels. Here are a few of the most common!


A bunion is a bone deformity located at the base of the big toe, causing the area to swell.

Bunions are significantly more common amongst women than men and are often associated with tight, narrow, high-heeled shoes. They can be very painful and may result in the need for surgery if not treated.

Muscle or joint ache

The human body was not designed for high heels, so when you wear them it has to compensate. This can often lead to aches and pains in the feet, legs and back.

With excessive wearing of high heels, women may even experience a shortened Achilles tendon, making it impossible to wear flats and causing more discomfort over time.

Foot pains

When you wear high heels, your weight will be balanced on the balls of your feet, putting an unnatural amount of pressure on the area – over seven times as much as when you’re wearing flat shoes!

This extra weight can result in inflammation or even neuroma, as well as corns or bent toes.

How to avoid these issues in the future

Due to the risks of wearing high heels, it’s safe to say that they are not the best footwear for everyday use. Instead, why not use your health as an excuse to shop for some stylish yet safe alternatives?

A sleek pair of black flats will do just the trick for work while a colourful or embellished pair will look great on the weekend.

If wearing heels really can’t be avoided – for example if you’re attending a party, wedding or important meeting where you’ll need to look your best – try to limit their wear for a few hours at a time. You may even wish to purchase a pair of foldable flats that will fit conveniently in most handbags.

As always, be sure to take care of your feet. Stretch and massage them as soon as you take off your high heels.

If you’re concerned about your footwear choices, get in touch with a podiatrist today. Beta Feet Podiatry will be able to give you professional advice on the best shoes for your feet.

By Judith Sullivan 09 Dec, 2017
By Reggie Simpson
By Judith Sullivan 28 Sep, 2017

We are delighted to announce that prose written by our Practice Business Manager, Reggie Simpson, will be featured in the Rennie Grove Hospice Care’s Rhyme & Reason 2018 diary, now in its 26th year. The theme for this forthcoming year’s diary is ‘Freedom’. All proceeds from sales of the diary go to support this worthwhile charity.

Reggie says: ‘Although my entry wasn't among the top poetry and prize winners, I was chuffed to be selected for the 2018 diary. The theme was quite broad, but my degrees in politics and love of writing invariably drew me to entering the competition. In the end I settled on a focus of freedom in healthcare, no doubt inspired by my current employment at Betafeet Podiatry and the noble work of Rennie Grove Hospice Care ( ).

Rennie Grove Hospice Care, formally known as Iain Rennie Hospice at Home, merged with Grove House, St Albans in 2010 to integrate services in south western Hertfordshire. The ethos and values of the two charities were closely aligned with the principle of allowing patients to lead a good quality of life at home for as long as possible, helping patients and their families avoid the distress of unnecessary hospital visits whenever possible.

The diaries can be ordered from the Rennie Grove website, payment by debit/credit card. It's part of their annual Christmas/holiday promotion. There will also be copies in local Rennie Grove shops. They are £5 each with additional postage if bought online. Shop locations can be found here: .

Here is Reggie’s entry (to appear in the month of September 2018): 

‘Do not count the days; make the days count.’

Muhammad Ali. Professional Boxer.  Audacious. Charismatic. A winner in the ring.

But even when you have won it all, life throws you a few more punches.

Yes, his name opened doors and wealth, but the bombastic man of his younger years was humbled in later life, and following retirement, he dedicated himself increasingly to charitable work. Parkinson’s was already taking hold.

He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005, the highest honour the USA can bestow.   He died in June 2016, aged 74.

Now the news is about boxing helping dementia sufferers.

So what does this mean for freedom? Does getting battered around the head spell freedom and choice? One would say yes; a boxer is free to take such risks. When the consequences deal you a fatal blow as a result, when do you lose your freedom? Is it when you have been reduced to a shadow of your former self, a normal human being, and have to rely on others? Muhammad Ali likely had plenty of resources to ensure his final days would help him on his final journey.

We tend to think of freedom in political terms. It is hard to remove freedom in healthcare from politics. Think NHS reform, among others. Freedom in a healthcare environment means more to the individuals and families when they have life-limiting illnesses and need the care of volunteer-run hospices such as Iain Rennie Grove.

The NHS gives patients the rights to make choices about different aspects of the care they receive, from the different treatment options available. How these are chosen is individual, although for those with life threatening or limiting illnesses this choice will fall on family members. 

I quote the following:

‘In health there is freedom. Health is the first of all liberties’.

Henri-Frédéric Amiel, Philosopher

September is World Alzheimer’s Month.




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