Swapping heels for flats can damage calves

Women slipping out of their stilettos into pumps or trainers watch out.

London: Women slipping out of their stilettos into pumps or trainers watch out as it might lead to damaged calf muscles.

Women who spend most of their time tottering around in high heels cause damage to their muscles that makes it uncomfortable to walk in flat shoes, a report said.

Over time, walking in heels causes calf muscles to become shorter and weaker. When the wearer switches to flats, the muscles are suddenly stretched into a position they are not used to, causing pain and discomfort.

Scientists at Manchester Metropolitan University found that women who wear heels five days a week over two years can shrink their calf muscles by up to 13 percent. This shortening effect can be permanent and the only way to prevent it is by doing stretching exercises at the end of the day.
High heels effectively cause the wearer to walk on tiptoes reducing the distance between their ankles and the backs of their knees. To compensate, the calf muscles contract and usually stretch out again once the heels are taken off.

But if high shoes are worn for most of the day and for weeks on end, the muscles can shrink permanently and become weaker. As a result, when women try to walk in flat shoes, their calves are forced to stretch out, causing pain and discomfort.