Influence of Heel height and Toe spring

Influence of Heel height and Toe spring
0 comments, 21/06/2017, by , in Foot Anatomy

Heel height and Toe spring

Heel is introduced in the shoe to give uniform weight distribution on the foot. But as the heel height increase the weight bearing by the front part will be more. In high heel shoe, the foot is placed in extended position and knees also flexed slightly. 

As the heel height increase the body bent backward at hips. Due to this back strain, headache and eyestrain will occur frequently.

Further on, high heels are also known to improve your posture. When you are wearing these heels, your spine is bound to be erect. Also, your shoulders do not slouch as you are standing in a stiff position. This ensures a better posture. Several studies and researches have proved that women who wear high heels have usually a better posture than the ones who do not.

On the downside, these high heels can cause considerable damage to your joints. Women who wear high heels for prolonged hours may have to deal with several knee joint issues. Besides, constant use of high heels over a period of time can even lead to degenerative knee diseases. The muscles of your calves and legs may also be strained as your are constantly standing at a height.

Foot sore is yet another negative effect of using these high heels. Your feet are bound to get tired if you are wearing these heels for a long time. This eventually leads to foot sores. The feet turn red or even swell around the heels as a result of the constant strain that they put up with.

High heels have both- their fair share of advantages as well as disadvantages. However, you can skillfully eliminate the disadvantages provided you choose to wear these heels correctly. Simply choose the right heel. Do not go in for extremely high heels as they can hurt your feet more. Also, make sure that you do not wear them for long hours.

Wear them with caution and you are sure to be enjoying only the benefits.

During the 16th century, European royalty, such as Catherine de Medici and Mary I of England, started wearing high-heeled shoes to make them look taller or larger than life. By 1580, men wore them, and a person with authority or wealth was often referred to as “well-heeled”.


Effects of heel height:

1.Distribution of weight will be altered. More weight will be borne by the metatarsal bones and causes the tread broaden, and this spoil the function of the metatarsal arch, and it’s elastic property. Will also causes corns, callous develop in this region.

2.Toes are kept in a dorsi flexion position and thus extensor tendons tend to shorten and flexor tendons will elongate causing toes are liable to become permanently contracted.

3.Because of foot being continually held in extended position the knee being slightly bent the muscular and ligaments in the front of the leg lengthens. When person tries to wear normal shoes, muscles at the back tries to stretch, causing pain and aching in the calf muscles.

4.Because of low heel base, shoe waist will not have sufficient foundation for walking, resulting the rocking of the foot weakens the lateral ligaments of the ankle joint.

5.With high heels the base of the shoe will touch the ground at a time, gives a jolting effect. Foot and leg joints and muscles won’t get their proper exercise. To change suddenly from high heel to low heel creates a big strain on the foot, and it would be better, if a change is to made, lower its height gradually

6.High heels are the may lead to ingrown toe nails as the toe compress, causing the big toe nails to grow into the skin. This can also lead to nail or fungal infections.

7,A study from the Journal of Orthopaedic Research found that wearing high heels that are 3 1/2 inches or higher can increase your lifetime risk of osteoarthritis, a leading cause of disability in women. Wearing even higher shoes can have a higher impact on your risk

8.Long-term wear of high heels can shorten the muscles in your calves and in your back, which can cause muscle pain and spasms, according to the American Osteopathic Association. Many women also experience painful leg cramps after wearing the shoes.


It is best to limit the use of high heels and wear comfortable shoes whenever possible. However, if not at least, make sure your shoes fit properly, minimize the amount of time wearing high heels on and massage your feet after each wear.

Toe spring

Toe spring is introduced in the shoes, which aids in walking. This will act as a lever. Raised shoes often give some resistance to downward pressure of toes of the foot, resulting a state of leverage at the ball of the foot. Shoes with high heel requires low toe spring because the toes are already in flexed and position of the foot, in the region of ends of metatarsal bones. So foot is placed down rigidly rather then flexed during walking. But a low heel shoe is to bend more while walking. So more toe spring is required.

And also shoes with rigid sole requires more toes spring and shoe which having flexible requires low spring.  That is the reason, why military shoes always have high toe spring


Reference :

Also contributed by Mr. Prasanna Kumar 

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