Killer High Heels?

Wearing high heels will for the majority cause a degree of discomfort after only one hour of wear. The foot pain is largely due to the unnatural position that high heeled shoes force the feet to be in, putting extreme pressure on the toes as well as changing the angle of the ankle and stress on knees and the lower back….and yet 78% of women wear them daily.

For decades highKiller High Heels heels have taken centre stage in the fashion and femininity stakes; making the leg appear longer, leaner and more shapely and the body appear slimmer therefore perceived by many to be ‘worth the pain’. In some companies they are a compulsory requirement for female employees. In 2015, the Israeli airline El Al established a rule that all female cabin crew had to wear high heels until all passengers were seated. (

A receptionist at PwC in London, a corporate finance company, has recently been sent home from work, without pay, after refusing to wear shoes with a 2-4inch heel. The receptionist argued that it was discriminatory towards women and a sexist issue, as the same requirement would not be expected of men working at the company.

Since the incident, the receptionist has launched an online petition which already has 11,000 signatures calling for the law to be changed so that companies cannot enforce women to wear high heels to work.

A spokesman for PwC has responded to the issue “PwC outsources its front of house and reception services to a third-party supplier. We first became aware of this matter on 10th May, some five months after the issue arose. The dress code referenced in the article is not a PwC policy.” (

Your feet are meant to distribute your weight, help with balance and act as a shock absorber to the body however when you put on a pair of heels this weight distribution is changed which in turn puts pressure on the ankles, lower leg, knees and back upwards.

For women of all ages, who enjoy a night out wearing killer heels the most common injury is a foot or ankle sprain due to falling over or losing their balance. High heels change the centre of balance forcing the body to lean forward putting the body under undue stress as it has to constantly correct and adjust to regain a natural upright posture. This combined with the consumption of alcohol has proven to be a contributing factor to ‘night out injuries’ demanding a visit to A&E as a direct result of wearing high heels under the influence of alcohol.

The higher the heel the greater the potential damage; 4 inched heels tend to increase the amount of pressure on the front of the foot and toes by up to 30%. When walking or dancing in heels, there can also be an impact on the wearer’s tendons, which shorten and tighten due to the angle of the heel forcing the veins to have restricted circulation. This in time can lead to arthritis.  (

Tony Redmond, a biomechanics expert at Leeds University states that there are real health concerns with wearing high heels. “From the point of view of the foot high heels are a disaster. The joints of the feet can be damaged by wearing high heels, and this can cause some forms of arthritis. Regularly wearing heels increases the mechanical wear and tear around the knee joints, which might increase the risk of osteoarthritis. It also puts people with weak lower backs at risk of slipped vertebrae.” (

When considering the right Health, Protection or Accident Protection Insurance for yourself or your family finding the ‘right fit’ is not always easy and sometimes the costs just appear prohibitive.

BDHL is able to offer various low cost solutions including an accident protection insurance policy that suits your circumstances.

To try and prevent future problems developing overtime, it is advised to wear a sensible height of heel, for example only an inch high and/or a wider heel base like a ‘wedge’ style shoe. It is also important to put a soft insole inside your shoes to help relive the impact on your knees and to wear the right size of shoe so that your feet do not move within the heels. You can also alternate shoes throughout the day, especially if you are walking a long distance or whilst sitting down take off your shoes and stretch out your lower leg muscles. (