The High Heels Dilemma: How They Impact Achilles Tendinitis

High heels have been a fashion staple for centuries, appreciated for their ability to elongate the legs and provide a stylish look. However, for many, the love of high heels comes at a price – the potential development or exacerbation of Achilles tendonitis. In this blog, we will explore how high heels affect the Achilles tendon and discuss the consequences for individuals dealing with Achilles tendonitis.

Understanding Achilles Tendonitis:

Achilles tendonitis is a condition characterized by inflammation and irritation of the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. This vital tendon enables movements such as walking, running, and jumping. When it becomes inflamed, it can cause pain, swelling, and discomfort.

The High Heel Dilemma:

Wearing high heels shifts the body’s weight distribution and alters the natural position of the foot. Here’s how high heels can impact the Achilles tendon:

  • Increased Stress: High heels force the feet into an unnatural position, with the toes pointing downward. This change increases stress on the Achilles tendon as it works harder to support the body’s weight in this compromised posture.
  • Shortening of the Achilles Tendon: Prolonged wearing of high heels can lead to the gradual shortening of the Achilles tendon. This change makes it less flexible and more susceptible to inflammation and injury.
  • Overuse and Strain: The constant strain placed on the Achilles tendon when wearing high heels can lead to overuse injuries. High heels may lead to microtears in the tendon, causing pain and inflammation.
  • Reduced Range of Motion: High heels limit the natural range of motion of the foot, leading to decreased flexibility in the Achilles tendon. This reduction can make it easier for the tendon to become injured.

If you are already dealing with Achilles tendonitis, wearing high heels can exacerbate the condition and make the pain and discomfort even more pronounced. The added strain and stress can slow down the healing process and may lead to chronic Achilles tendonitis.

Tips for High Heel Lovers:

  •  If you can’t part with your high heels but want to protect your Achilles tendon, consider the following tips:
  • Limit High Heel Usage: Reserve high heels for special occasions, and opt for more comfortable and supportive footwear in your daily life.
  • Choose Lower Heels: Opt for heels that are lower in height to reduce the stress on your Achilles tendon.
  • Stretch and Strengthen: Perform regular calf stretches and strengthening exercises to help improve Achilles tendon flexibility and resilience.
  • Custom Orthotics: Consult a podiatrist for custom orthotic insoles that can provide better arch support and alleviate some of the strain on the Achilles tendon.
  • Rest and Recovery: Allow your feet to recover by wearing comfortable, supportive shoes when needed and avoiding long periods of high heel use.


    In conclusion, while high heels can be a stylish addition to your wardrobe, they can take a toll on your Achilles tendon, especially if you’re dealing with Achilles tendonitis. Be mindful of how you use high heels, and consider the potential consequences for your foot health. Your comfort and well-being should always come first.

    Call Crown Foot & Ankle today at 219 257-0255 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Natasha Mandula.