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It’s only been a year since I finally gave in to a deep yearning, one that has plagued me for years – I wanted a pair of red high-heeled shoes. Maybe it’s part of my mid-life crisis – cheaper than a car! They’re sling-backs, red patent leather – so shiny and so pretty…so I’m begging, please say it isn’t so! Are high heels bad for us, as bad as smoking (which, for the record I have never tried)? Biomechanist, foot expert and author of Every Woman’s Guide to Foot Pain: The New Science of Healthy Feet, Katy Bowman told MacLean’s Magazine author Julie McKinnell: “The cigarette was once very fashionable. It was very alluring. It was sexy…now we look differently at people who smoke…within our lifetime we’re going to start seeing a high heel as a reflection of self-esteem”.

OK –I run around doing errands in flats, but when I want to dress up, I want to wear something special – I want to wear heels. I accepted the fact that I will forever be short. I have even accepted the fact that a day is coming when I will trade heels for comfort and safety. But that day is not today…And it’s not like my heels (if you can call them that) are outrageous, or that I wear them that often. At least not any more! Even when I worked in an office, I was often caught running around in my stockings…and nobody really cared! Maybe there’s still hope…

Since I’m sick (but being the neurotic, multi-tasking, “can’t sit still” kind of person that I am), and I’m sick of staring at neuron-destroying day-time kids’ television, I started flipping through the stack of “magazines I will read one day soon” and came across this article…just in case you’re wondering what brought this rant on.

Katy Bowman goes on to explain that heels may be the most researched area of footwear because they have “the ability to radically change the geometry of the body” from ankle, knee, hip and spine, and skew our natural gait. Heels can contribute to nerve damage, arthritis, osteoporosis and more. For lifers, “chances are your calf muscles have shrunk” so she advises not throwing out the heels just yet, but making a progression to flats slowly or risk tearing the Archilles tendon. Ouch!

But there’s more. Katy Bowman also suggests avoiding flips-flops, mules and slide-on sandals– basically anything that requires toe-gripping action to keep them on. So what’s a girl to do? Well, you can pay big bucks to have your feet made narrower…not a sacrifice I’m willing to make! Go barefoot as much as possible and wear flexible, flat shoes for outside. We’re supposed to say “no” to harmful shoes…sigh…I stopped reading. I’m guessing my sassy green boots, my muse for my blog, would never pass inspection. What do you think?

Here’s the full article, if you really want to read more:

http://www2.macleans.ca/2012/01/19/teetering-on-the-brink-of-bad-health/