Are high heels dangerous? Research says injuries are on the rise

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – High heel-related injuries are on the rise: A new study from researchers in Alabama shows they nearly doubled over 11 years.

abc27 News hit the streets to get to the heart and sole of the issue.

High heels have been a fashion statement dating back at least to the 16th century.

“Makes you feel a little fancy, feel good,” said Jacquie Turk, “but I don’t like to wear them all day.”

But the last decade or so hasn’t gotten great marks for high heel safety.

Research published in The Journal of Foot & Ankle Surgery shows the number of injuries from the footwear rose 82 percent between 2002 and 2012.

“I fell down the stairs a couple times,” Logan Sanders remembered.

Just how many injuries are we talking about?

The researchers estimated more than 123,000 people were hurt in that 11-year span. Roughly three-quarters of them were, unsurprisingly, foot and ankle injuries.

Women between the ages of 20 and 29 were most susceptible.

“I have definitely twisted my ankle on more than one occasion,” added Turk.

One common theory among people in Harrisburg for the spike in injuries is “they keep getting higher and higher,” Sanders explained. “Much higher,” Turk said.

“Like five, six inches, all the time,” Angela Kirkland added.

“My mom actually used to call high heels — well, stilettos — roach-killers, because she said they’re only good for backing bugs into corners,” Jess Bell said with a laugh.

A consumer analyst says high heels get higher when the economy’s bad as a sort of escape.

“High heels are empowering,” noted Kelly Hutchison.

Heels are sky-high now (in addition to “painful,” “difficult,” and “fun sometimes,” according to our experts in the field), but with the economy on the rise heels may start to fall.

“They are highly overrated,” Dimity Short said. “I think, embrace your heart, embrace your look. You don’t need that.”

“It’s great; wear what you want to wear. I have no problem with it,” said Kirkland. “Just be comfortable.”

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