Sunday, February 12, 2012

Dangers Of High Heels

Not long ago, Neil J. Cronin, a postdoctoral researcher, and two of his colleagues at the Musculoskeletal Research Program at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia, were having coffee on the university’s campus when they noticed a young woman tottering past in high heels. “She looked quite uncomfortable and unstable,” Dr. Cronin says.

Some observers, particularly women, might have winced in sympathy or, alternatively, wondered where she’d bought stilettos. But the three researchers, men who study the biomechanics of walking, were struck instead by the scientific implications of her passage. “We began to consider what might be happening at the muscle and tendon level” in women who wear heels, Dr. Cronin says.

How shoes affect human gait is a controversial topic these days. The popularity of barefoot running, for instance, has grown in large part because of the belief, still unproven, that wearing modern, well-cushioned running shoes decreases foot strength and proprioception, the sense of how the body is positioned in space, and contributes to running-related injuries.

Read more: NY Times

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