Do you love your high heels? If the answer is yes, chances are you love them so much it hurts.
That’s the conclusion of a study that looks at the link between shoe choices and chronic foot pain. More than 3000 men and women from Framingham, Mass., who were questioned about the type of shoes they wore in the past as well as in the present. Their average age was 66.
The researchers found that smart shoe choices paid off in the long term: women who had mainly worn supportive footwear like sneakers or athletic shoes in their younger years cut their risk of common foot pain later in life by more than half, compared with women who had worn shoes that gave average support, like hard-soled or rubber-soled ones.
But both of those groups were in a minority. More than 60 percent of women said that in the past they generally wore high heels, pumps, sandals and slippers.
Those women were at greatest risk of pain in the hind foot and around the ankle and the Achilles’ tendon.
The researchers say if you insist on high heels, make sure they fit well, and do stretching exercises to lessen the pain.
Not surprisingly, the researchers found no link between foot pain and shoe choice among men, largely because less than 2% wore bad shoes.