Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Foot FAQ


I have large bunions on my feet that I am going to have taken care of. My teen daughter wears high heels all the time and I want her to stop because she will get feet like mine. But she won't listen to me. What can I tell her to convince her to lay off the heels?


It used to be thought that hallux valgus, or bunions, were caused by wearing shoes that didn't fit properly or had high heels. The theory was the more the heels were worn or the more pressure there was on the foot, joint would move, causing the bunion. However, research is starting to show that this isn't necessarily the case. In fact, family history may play a larger role. If your daughter does develop bunions, it is entirely possible that she does because you have them, although the shoes could contribute. In a recent study, by Daniel Wu and Lobo Louie, data from over 1,000 women showed that most of them who had a family history of bunions also had them, while those who wore high heels but had no family history of bunion, didn't often develop them. This isn't to say that high heels aren't a problem. They do cause other issues with the body, by throwing it off balance. For example, the heels place a larger amount of pressure on the ankles, knees, and lower back, than they are used to. Daniel Wu, MD, and Lobo Louie, DPE. Does Wearing High-heeled Shoe Cause Hallux Valgus? In The Foot and Ankle Online Journal. May 2010.

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