Restrictive footwear and clothing can hinder good posture any time it prohibits the body's full range of motion. High heeled shoes, also called "hurt shoes," are an example. arch supports They cause the pelvis to rotate forward. The visual effects of wearing high heels are well recognized. They definitely put an attractive sway in a lady's walk. They also increase the curve in the lower back. From that follows the back pain and muscle strains associated with having to walk out of balance trying to compensate for high heels all day. Low heeled footwear which keeps the body's natural state of balance should be worn whenever possible. While wearing high heels is considered a necessary part of many women's wardrobes, doing so can be definitely damaging to their feet and overall posture. Fashion comes with a price in this case. At a certain age it is more important for a woman to feel good (not be in pain) than to look good. Doctors and chiropractors have "cleaned up" off of women's back problems resulting from the hurt shoes. I had a client in her 80's who refused to stop wearing them, even though she had major back problems, because she still wanted to look good. She always kept a pair of flats around in the event I showed up. That way she could change quickly, and say she was in fact wearing flats. In her 80's no less! Shoes are an excellent indicator of how you distribute your body weight and how you walk. The better your posture, the more evenly you wear your shoes. Once they become overly worn on one side, you are forced to walk like that as the shoe continues to wear down. Check your shoes out and see how they are wearing heel lifts. . . is the wear evenly distributed or on the inside or outside of the shoes. There is a good bit of controversy in medical circles about shoes, their use, and what type to wear, though much of this has not yet trickled down to the general public. Basically, shoes can support the feet and ankles so well that the feet lose their ability to support themselves, like too much of a good thing. Waking barefoot is great if your arches haven't fallen. I train people in socks to emphasize the lateral flexion of the feet, something hard to do with shoes on. (Reason one thousand and two for lateral flexion: If you walk and don't notice when the surface changes, like a step down you didn't see, your potential for injury is directly related to your ability to laterally flex your feet. When you can't do that any longer, your only option is to fall over. If you can laterally flex, your brain has a brief second to recognize you are about to fall, and correct itself. ) Laterally flexing the feet is easy. Sit in a chair with something between your knees, or just keep your knees together with your feet flat on the floor. Then, alternately raise the inside and then the outside of your foot, essentially putting your feet through lateral flexion. You can't have good ankles and feet if they can't laterally flex. Although many people wear heel lifts, it's very important that such aids are used wisely and under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. In some instances, a person may have an anatomically short leg. This is the exception, though, and not the rule. The heel lift, worn under the heel, acts as compensation. Heel lifts should be checked periodically to make sure their size remains correct.