Women should think twice before buying their next pair of high-heels or pumps, according to researchers at the Institute for Aging Research of Hebrew SeniorLife in a new study of older adults and foot problems. The researchers found that the types of shoes women wear, specifically high-heels, pumps and sandals, may cause future hind-foot (heel and ankle) pain. Nearly 64 percent of women who reported hind-foot pain regularly wore these types of shoes at some point in their life.
While foot pain is a common complaint in the U.S. adult population — foot and toe symptoms are among the top 20 reasons for physician visits among those 65 to 74 years of age—relatively little is known about the causes of foot pain in older adults.
From a list of 11 shoe types, study participants were asked about the one style of shoe they currently wear on a regular basis, what they regularly wore during five age periods in the past, and if they experience pain, aching or stiffness in either foot on most days. Nearly 30 percent of women and 20 percent of men reported generalized foot pain, which is in line with other foot-pain studies. There was a significant association in women who reported hind-foot pain and past shoe wear that included high-heels and pumps. The shoe types were classified as “poor” (high-heels, pumps, sandals and slippers), “average” (hard- or rubber-soled shoes and work boots), and “good” (athletic and casual sneakers). More than 60 percent of women reported wearing “poor” shoes in the past, compared to only 2 percent of men (13 percent of women said they currently wear “poor” shoes).
If you are experiencing foot or ankle pain, the podiatrists’ at North Eastern Ohio Podiatry Group, LLC can help provide the best advice and options.