We all know that women have been wearing high heels for centuries, mainly because of the attractive connotations associated with having an elevated heel – feeling sexy, showing authority, being fashion-forward etc…We wear them despite the pain and discomfort - maybe because "foot care" has less-than-sexy connotations.

Research suggests that up to a third of women suffer permanent problems as a result of their prolonged wearing of high heels, especially stilettos. These range from hammer toes and bunions to irreversible damage to leg tendons.

Many of the problems - which can occur simultaneously - are caused by the increased pressure high heels put on the ball of the foot; the higher the heel, the greater the pressure. The knee and back can also be affected.

Bunions and bone spurs happen too ...a lot. Most people have a foot injury of some sort by age 40, and women undergo the majority of common-problem foot surgeries.  High heels are known to ram your toes together and forward, which can cause painful ingrown toenails. Sidestep these potential problems and maybe even surgery by treating your feet right.


Anatomy and genes play a leading role in female foot woes. In general, women have narrower heels and weaker joints than men do. Lower-fat diets can decrease bone mass, putting women at increased risk for ankle sprains and dislocated foot bones. Wider hips mean that some women are predisposed to walking knock-kneed, which can throw off the body's alignment and stance, and potentially lead to foot injuries.


Stilettos can make your feet hurt like hell for a reason. “One-inch heels can increase the pressure on your feet by about 22 percent," says orthopaedic surgeon Steven Raikin, M.D., of the Rothman Institute in Philadelphia. "Two inches can add up to 57 percent, and three inches can add a whopping 76 percent." That pressure means toes are crammed into a tight area, and the long-term results can be very unsexy bunions or claw like hammertoes. What's more, so much weight shifting onto the feet causes calf muscles to clench up and eventually tighten, making it hard to walk normally even on days you wear flats. Platform and wedge shoes are a bit kinder, but most still have an unnatural incline, says Catherine Cheung, D.P.M., a podiatrist in San Francisco.

You don’t have to suffer though. Be kind to your feet and still look stylish with Strive Footwear. Designed by podiatrists with over 30 years’ experience, Strive Footwear incorporates unique Biomechanical Footbed technology which is designed to correctly support feet in their optimum position.