For many women, the classic stiletto high-heeled shoe can
make an outfit sing. However, too often these shoes can also
make the feet
ache. But did you know that they could also cause long-term
Studies have shown that narrow high-heeled shoes are bad
for the knees, causing osteoarthritis, the most common form
of arthritis, in which joint cartilage degenerates. In this
study, published in The Lancet, U.S. researchers found
that wide-heeled shoes caused 30% greater pressure on the
knees than walking barefoot.
The particular parts of the knee affected are those which
deteriorate as osteoarthritis develops. A particular kind
of pressure, called varus torque, placed on the knee was measured.
It was found that pressure makes the quadriceps muscle in
the thigh work harder, which in turn places more pressure
on the kneecap.
This study shows that wide-heeled women's dress shoes cause
the same, if not greater alterations in knee torques (pressures)
as narrow-heeled shoes, and recommends the wearing of shoes
with low or no heels. Your doctor of chiropractic can tell
you more about appropriate foot attire and help you choose
a shoe that is safe and suitable to your needs.
Kerrigan C, Lelas J, Karvosky ME. Women's shoes and knee
osteoarthritis. The Lancet 2001:357, pp.1097-1098.