We love our high heels, but a new study has found that stilettos can ruin our legs and the way we walk.

An Australian team of scientists has shown that women who wear heels over 2 inches for 40 hours a week over two years have forced their feet into a ‘plantarflexed’ position – or downwardly-pointed toes, as seen on Victoria Beckham when she attended last year’s Royal Wedding.


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This position can permanently damage leg muscles and change the way you walk, even if you go back to wearing flats.

The study found that high heel wearers take short, hard steps, which puts more pressure on the calf muscles. This leads to strain injuries, muscle fatigue and back problems. Flat shoe devotees take longer strides, which engages the tendons instead of the calves.

Doctors recommend taking a break from wearing high heels as much as possible. Ideally, wear heels only for special occasions and at best once or twice a week.

Are you a high heel devotee? Would a study like this change your shoe wearing habits?