January 2013

Habitual wearers of high-heeled shoes lack ankle dorsiflexion range of motion

In the moment: Footwear

By Jordana Bieze Foster

Long-term wear of high-heeled shoes leads to significant alterations in ankle range of motion (ROM) and muscle strength, according to researchers from the Republic of Korea.

Investigators from Korea University in Seoul analyzed barefoot ankle mechanics in 10 young women who reported that they wore high-heeled shoes regularly (at least three days a week for the previous six months) and 10 young women who wore high heels less frequently.

They found that ankle plantar flexion ROM and inversion were significantly greater for the high-heel group than the flat shoe group. But the high-heel wearers also had significantly less ankle dorsiflexion ROM and eversion than those who preferred flats.

Concentric contraction pow- er in eversion was also significantly higher in the high-heels group than the flat shoe group. The authors theorized that this indicates a response to the mediolateral instability and lateral transfer of center of gravity during walking that can occur while wearing high-heeled shoes.

The findings were e-published in January by Foot & Ankle International.


Kim Y, Lim JM, Yoon BC. Changes in ankle range of motion and muscle strength in habitual wearers of high-heeled shoes. Foot Ankle Int 2013 Jan 11 [Epub ahead of print]

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