Injuries from wearing high heels have doubled: study

Birmingham, AL – High heels are fashionable, but – as many people who wear them can attest – the shoes also present injury risks.

Injuries related to wearing high-heel shoes doubled from 2002 to 2012, according to a study from the University of Alabama, Birmingham.

Using data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, researchers examined about 123,355 high-heel-related injuries in emergency departments. More than 80 percent of injuries involved the ankle or foot, while nearly 20 percent were to the knee, trunk, shoulder, head or neck. Most injuries were strains or sprains, and fractures made up 19 percent of injuries.

Nearly half of injuries occurred at home. Other findings:

  • The overall rate of injury was 7.32 per 100,000 women.
  • Women 20 to 29 were most likely to have an injury.
  • More than 19,000 injuries occurred during the peak year of 2011.

People who wear heels should be aware of the risks, and wear appropriate shoes for the situation and environment, researchers recommended.

The study was published online May 12 in The Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery.