Are Your Shoes Aging You?


Footwear is an accessory as well as a necessity most women have battled with for most of their lives.  The shoes that look great and we adore are not usually the same ones that are good for our feet, back or knees.  But could the wrong footwear be aging you prematurely?

A 2015 study from Stanford University has some bad news for lovers of high heels, especially if you already have arthritis or are carrying a few extra pounds.   Researchers found that when you walk in heels, you are more likely to have bent knees when your feet hit the ground causing a great deal of strain on the knees.  And if you are overweight, the stress on joints is even greater.

The study, published in the Journal of Orthopedic Research, found that the added strain placed on knees from wearing high heels frequently can increase the risk for osteoarthritis in women, especially in combination with extra weight.

The good news is that comfortable shoes can be fashionable.  On trend right now are dressed up sneakers is soft suede and feminine colors or try a low wedge which is easier to walk in and a low chunky heel (also big this season) gives a little lift without sacrificing your knees.   And nobody looks good limping for the sake of vanity at any age.   Keep heels to under three inches and swap out high-heels with a cute pair of flats when your shoes start causing you pain before permanent damage can be done to the cartilage and soft tissue of the joints.

Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

  • Pain in the joint
  • Tenderness when applying pressure
  • Stiffness
  • Loss of flexibility
  • Grating sensation – hearing or feeling a grating sensation when using the joint
  • Bone spurs – bits of bone that form around the joint

Source:  Mayo Clinic

The risk for osteoarthritis increase with age, obesity, joint injury, certain occupations that place repetitive stress on joints, genetics and bone deformities.   Although it’s not clear if heels are the cause, women are more likely to develop osteoarthritis which can be usually be managed effectively by staying active and maintaining a healthy weight.  If symptoms worsen, a doctor may suggest other treatment options.

To learn more about arthritis of the knee, visit the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons by following this link.

I love SHOES!