More than 500 studies have examined the impact of high heels on health and evidence clearly indicates that those high heels you pull out of the back of the shoe cupboard at this time of the year aren't good for you.

 

With wet weather increasing the risk of stilettos sinking into the trackside turf, and clear evidence demonstrating that high heels are a menace to women's health, the 2017 Melbourne Cup should be remembered as the year that flat shoes became the hot item in fashion.

A 2017 paper reviewing more than 500 studies on the health effects of high heels found that while heels may be perceived to make women appear more attractive, they also carry a range of decidedly unattractive health risks, including osteoarthritis, musculoskeletal pain and foot injuries.

A Victorian spokeswoman for the Chiropractors' Association of Australia (Victoria), Dr Michelle Ronan said that 2017 should be the year that heels were finally consigned to the back of the shoe closet.

"This latest evidence confirms what chiropractors have been saying for years – high heels might look great when you first put them on , but the injuries they can cause can look and feel terrible afterwards," Dr Ronan said.

"At a time when the ground is sodden and researchers from around the world have proven the dangers of high heels, it would be great if the 2017 Melbourne Cup became remembered as the year that women embraced low-rise footwear.

"Flat shoes don't have to be dull. This is not anti-fun, or anti-fashion – in fact it is a great opportunity to embrace some of the fabulous flat shoe designs produced by Australian fashion leaders."

"High heels have become popular in an era when women were supposed to dress to please men, even when it risked their health, like corsets and foot binding – practices which were ultimately rejected because they put appearance ahead of health."

"As a chiropractor, I find clients regularly seek advice on ways to reduce pain in their back and neck and good posture is an important way to reduce back and neck pain. High heels force women into an unnatural posture which is bad for their backs – not to mention their feet and ankles."

"Melbourne Cup is a great celebration of extraordinary racing animals and fashion – but the time has come to put women's health first."

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