A Moment of Science

Pisa Shoes

If you have good posture, your bones will carry you the way a skyscraper’s frame carries the weight of the building. If not, you may end up more like the leaning tower of Pisa. While there are many routes to bad posture, high heels are certainly one of the most popular.

When you’re barefoot, your body weight is distributed evenly over the front, middle and back of the feet. But, high heels force weight forward onto the ball of the foot; the slimmer and higher the heel, the greater the shift. As newcomers to high heels know, this shift affects balance, and the hips, back and shoulders must take a new postures in order to stand and walk in heels, causing leg, back and head aches.

As high heel devotées know, the feet also compensate. With the body’s weight concentrated on the ball of the foot, the pressure on this area increases dramatically, the more mass on one spot, the higher the pressure. A three-inch heel exerts seven times the pressure of a one-inch heel, causing bunions, calluses and nerve pain.

Of course, many wearers would sooner scrap the tower of Pisa than give up their heels, so these people might want to consider alternating flat and high heeled shoes and stretching to restore flexibility and alignment.

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