Wearing high heels damages the ankle, leg, and back. Though this is not enough to dissuade many from wearing them even when they feel the effects after an hour of walking around. Although, wearing high heels initially strengthens the ankle muscles, it eventually leads to instability and weaken those same muscles- according to a study conducted at the University of North Carolina.
Tricia Turner an associate professor of kinesiology and athletic training coordinator at College of Health and Human Service UNC Charlotte, said in a statement "initially, when wearing heels, the muscles that surrounds the ankle have to continuously contract to keep you upright and walking". "over time, you need less muscle contraction as the lower leg adapts to the changes in footwear. Once that occurs, less muscle contraction occurs".
The damage associated with high heels is as a result of forcing the foot into naturally unstable position. With flat shoes, and sneakers, the bones of the ankle are below the bones of the lower leg, thus creating stability. Over time, use of high heels causes ligament and nerve damage in the ankle which leads to complications in the leg and back, which can result into dozens of injuries to a woman's toe, shortened calves, muscle fatigue, osteoarthritis, and altered posture. With prolonged use, your muscles get shortened in the back of the leg and muscles lengthens in the front of your leg. These change in muscle length can weaken the muscle strength.
"High heel shoes also changes the normal walking or gait cycle, with the ultimate result being a less fluent gait cycle. Changes at the ankle causes the ankle cause the muscles higher in the leg and back to lose efficiency and strength. It also changes the load the bones in and around the knee have to absorb, which leads to injury" professor Turner adds. Unfortunately, most women in their 20's decide to play through the pain.