By: Morgan Weaver
A university's study points out the potential dangers of wearing high heel shoes.
Griffith University in Queensland, Australia published their study in The Journal of Applied Physiology,on January 12th. It showed that daily high heel-wearers could face problems with their calf muscles.
"The heel wearers were found to constantly have their feet in a flexed, toes-pointed position - so much so, that it became "default" for their feet,"Dr. Neil J. Cronin, a researcher for the study, told the Times. "This position- along with the shortened stride- actually caused the women's calf muscles to shorten, the study found leading them to put more strain on their muscles."
By the time the study was released, it was already too late for Baillie Sezter, a student who found about the dangers of these shoes the hard way.
"I went down town in high heels and had fun. Later on when I tripped on some curbs, I ended up breaking my foot and ankle in six places," said Setzer.
This injury was not the first Setzer suffered from a desire to be taller.
"I used to always walk on my toes when I was little 'cause I was shorter than everyone and I couldn't see. And I took ballet so I was always on my toes. Then, I ended up having to get Botox injected into my calf muscles to get them stretched back out from doing that," said Setzer.
It's been two months since Setzer's accident, but she says the damage to her feet and legs may always be there.
"Walking around for long hours on it, you realize how much your foot's throbbing 'cause it's like stress fractures and stuff so they're still there,but they always will be, I guess," she said.
Fleet Feet Sports owner Toni Jumper said Baillie's situation and the study results come as no surprise to her after studying exercise science in college.
"A lot of times if you wear high heels there's a shortening of the Achilles, so you can have calf problems or leg problems associated with constant use because your body's going to adapt to whatever you have," said Jumper.
Jumper said heels aren't the only shoes that could potentially be bad for your feet. Her staff is trained to conduct tests on their customers to watch the tendencies of their feet and help them choose the right shoe based on that information. However, she said wearing only one type of shoe all the time isn't good for anyone, no matter what the shoe is.
"If you have someone in a tennis shoe or a low profile shoe all the time, then they're going to have a harder time wearing high heels because they're going to have an elongation of the Achilles just over time that adaptation so it's good to vary your foot ware," she said.
Jumper also said they have had customers come in with bunions and other problems from wearing the wrong shoes all the time.
Setzer said she doesn't care what shoes are right for her- she is staying away from high heel shoes for a while.
"I definitely won't be wearing heels for long periods of time any time soon," said Setzer