|Are these better on my knees and back as far as decreasing the wear and tear on my body?… We have proven in our other article that wearing high-heeled shoes may increase the chance of having OA for women (See Is it Better to Look Good or to Feel Good?) Women and shoes are a touchy subject. They are very important, so some have asked if wearing wide heeled shoes may help decrease the chance of arthritis (osteoarthritis). Studies have shown that these shoes with a wide toe-box are more comfortable and stable than narrow-base heeled shoes (1). Also, risk of ankle sprains, falls, and foot problems such as hammer toes are possibly reduced with these wide shoes. But they are not better at reducing the stress and strain on your joints that could lead to knee pain, osteoarthritis, and back pain. Walking with wide-heeled shoes had increased peak knee varus torque by 26%, compared to 22% with narrow-heeled shoes which means the amount of force put on the knee is the same or if not greater than in narrow-heeled shoes. In conclusion, you can not look good and feel good by wearing wide-heeled shoes unless you have a history of an ankle sprain or want to help prevent falls. These wide shoes place the woman at the same risk of wearing away of the inside part of your knee as the narrow-heeled shoes.
1. Annis E. On the move. Footwear News 2000; 56: 16-17.
2. Women’s shoes and knee osteoarithritis. D C Kerrigan, JL Lelas, ME Karvosky. The Lancet vol 357, Number 9262 April 2001.
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|So what should you do?
Wear the wide heeled shoes to possibly prevent ankle sprains, but go with the flats if you are trying to reduce knee or back pain.
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