Pregnancy, Foot Health, and High Heels

high heels

You may have heard that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, better known as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, are expecting their first baby sometime in the next few weeks. Meghan has largely stepped down from her public duties, but when she does make an appearance, she’s still wearing the shoes she prefers: super high heels.

Podiatrists Craig B. Frey, DPM and Megan L. Oltmann, DPM of Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland strongly recommend that you avoid wearing high heels during pregnancy, especially during the last trimester.

Here’s why:

  • Pregnancy changes your posture and your center of gravity. As the baby grows, your body weight naturally increases in front, which causes your center of gravity to pitch forward.
  • High heels do the same thing. They shift your weight forward onto the balls of your feet.
  • When you combine the effect of high heels with the effect of a growing belly, you’re at very high risk of losing your balance and falling.

There’s more:

  • As you walk in high heels with your weight pitched forward, your body tries to compensate. Your knees turn inward. The muscles of your lower back are stressed. The stress can be felt all the way up into your neck. You’re putting a lot of stress on a body that’s already strained by the demands of pregnancy.


  • Pregnancy hormones cause your feet and ankles to swell. They make your joints relax and your feet grow wider. It’s not unusual for your arches to flatten out from the extra weight you’ve gained. Squeezing your changed feet into high heels not only becomes difficult during pregnancy, but it also increases your risk of toe deformities, ingrown toenails, and painful neuromas.

Are high heels worth the foot pain, back pain, and increased risk of falling? Well, we advise our Cuyahoga County patients to put safety before fashion. Lower heels or supportive flats are a better choice for pregnancy without foot pain.

For more information on total foot and ankle care in every stage of life or to make an appointment with Dr. Frey or Dr. Oltmann, visit our website or call us at (440) 903-1041.  Our office is conveniently located in Solon, OH and serves patients in Cuyahoga, Summit, Portage and Geauga County.