Years of high-heel wearing can actually alter the anatomy of the calf muscles and tendons.
- High heels put stress on the back and knees. Squeezing into high heels with narrow toe boxes can cause a condition called Morton's neuroma, a painful thickening of tissue between the third and fourth toes.
- Haglund's deformity, sometimes called the "pump bump," occurs when back straps of heels dig into the tissue around the Achilles tendon. Too-tight shoes can bring on bunions, an enlargement of bone or tissue at the base of the big toe that pushes the big toe toward the second toe.
- Pointy shoes can worsen hammertoe by forcing the toes to bend at the middle joints, eventually causing them to stay bent and rigid even when barefoot.
- And then there are those uneven-sidewalk wipeouts that lead to ankle sprains and breaks.
It's not a big leap to know that shoes that hurt can't be good for you.