| October 5, 2012

Three out of four Americans experience serious foot problems in their lifetime, and celebrities are no exception. From Lady Gaga’s heelless platforms to Rihanna’s pointy stilettos, celebrity starlets are consistently making headlines with their extravagant, yet uncomfortable footwear.

“Consumers often look to celebrities for style inspiration," says Dr. Emily Splichal, board-qualified podiatrist. "But sky-high stilettos and shoes lacking the proper arch support can cause foot pain and increase the risk of plantar fasciitis and stress fractures.”

With fall fashion trends showcasing smoking loafers, pointy-toed pumps and sky high platforms, it’s easy to look to the red carpet and our favorite celebrities for fashion footwear inspiration. But have you considered how these shoes are affecting your health? Check out what Aetrex, a leader in orthotics and comfort footware, tells us about these fashionable celebrity trends.

Lady Gaga’s Heelless Platforms

Whether at the Grammy’s or strolling through London’s airport security, this diva loves to rock her extremely high-heel platforms. However, platforms place additional stress on the ball of the foot, big toe joint and back of the ankle. Since the feet are the foundation to every step we take, the imbalance caused by wearing these platforms will travel proximally to our knees and lower back. This increase in stress can also lead to early knee osteoarthritis and sacroiliac joint pain.

Madonna’s Thigh-High Boots

Those thigh-high stiletto boots looked fabulous at the Super Bowl, but our favorite Material Girl would be better off dancing in something a little more sensible. Heels place a great deal of extra pressure on a dancer’s toes, as all force is transferred to the front of the foot. This increased pressure can lead to discomfort and a painful condition called plantar fasciitis over an extended period of time.

Beyonce’s Maternity Heels

A baby-licious bump couldn’t stop this pop-star from flaunting her favorite footwear, including towering pumps and platforms. It might look effortless, but wearing extremely high heels while pregnant does not provide the proper support and foot health our bodies need.  During pregnancy, feet feel every ounce, and the added weight gain causes extra strain on arches, causing them to stretch.  In addition, a woman’s center of gravity is constantly changing, and wearing heels that are not designed properly only increases the risk of tripping or mis-stepping.

Nicki Minaj’s Platform Shoes

With those Starships on her feet, it’s lucky this platform-obsessed starlet hasn’t literally found herself “on the floor.” When we say high heels get a lot of attention for being associated with high injury rates, we’re talking about these shoes. Very high heels, as fashionable as they may be, are not the best for feet, knees or the lower back.  From ankle sprains to hammertoes, high heels have been getting a bad rep for the dangers they cause the joints of the lower body. 

Rihanna’s Sky-High Stilettos

Known for strutting the highest stilettos on the red carpet, she’s “finding (shoe) love” in all the wrong places. Poor shoe decisions can lead to health-related problems such as sprains, low back pain, stress fractures and bunions. Even at 5 inches tall, heels can cause severe health problems, so it’s important for women to stretch the calves and plantar fascia daily, as well as vary the height of the heels to minimize the stress placed on the joints of the foot and ankle.