They’re a fashion statement many women make on a daily basis.
But, being a habitual high heel wearer can come with a downside—beyond the risk of falling down face-first.
Famed oncologist David Agus says wearing high heels could cause cancer or heart disease.
“At the end of the day your feet hurt. That's inflammation. Inflammation is the root of heart disease and cancer,” Agus said.
Research shows chronic low-grade inflammation weakens the body's ability to fight off long-term diseases.
“Inflammation gets rid of something. If you have a pain, the body is trying to heal. By doing that it takes the focus away from diseases like cancer, which are long term,” Agus said.
For women in heels, inflammation is typically found anywhere from the balls of the feet to the heel.
“Any woman would say they're uncomfortable... if you're in that much discomfort it doesn't surprise me it could lead to something more serious
But while it can sometimes cause your foot to throb, you can't always feel it.
After years of wearing heels, Kirsten Fleming is on doctor’s orders to stay away.
“Inflammation, incredible bunions—I just went to a podiatrist. My feet are so bad I even have corns. So no more,” Fleming said.
So, instead of buying a pair of sky high heels to look good, Fleming says you may want to think again.
And if you can't give up those killer heels, there an option for you too: some doctors use Botox jabs in the feet—giving patients built-in protective pads.