VIDEO: The deadly lure of high heels for Ugandan women

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Medical personnel have warned women against wearing high heels a lot saying they could suffer adverse effects. But even though some women are aware of the repercussions, they are not ready to let go of high heels. Doctor Vincent Karuhanga recommends flat shoes that he says present more health advantages to the body compared to high heels.

Women have a fascination with heels; a popular style for today’s women often worn in any formal occasion. For those who want to highlight their legs, high heels highlight the view of their calves and show them in an appealing way much better than regular shoes.

Akurutu Sheila Diana is a businesswoman in Kampala who is in love with high heels. She says, high heels have worked miracles for her. Akurut does not need to but an expensive dress but a pair of high heels in her wardrobe is a must.

A woman in high heels

Akurut explains that, “Many times I purchase my cheap clothes, but when I put on high heels, they pull out my look and everything on me looks expensive unlike it would with the usual flat shoes.”

Men find women in high heels very fashionable and attractive.

“Women are good to look at when they are in high heels, they look classy and expensive,” Matovu Dickson emphasizes.

To many women, their reasons for putting on high heels are clear and simple, they raise their self-esteem. Namale Desire says, “High heels boost my confidence and I usually attract so much attention from the public making me feel awesome, so leaving the trend is not something I am thinking of.”

While many find it difficult to manage high heels, varieties of heels are available on the market from boots to stiletto shoes with varying heights, and with even more ways of wearing them. These shoes are available from a few centimeters of height, to shoes that raise the foot. Heels below 2.5 inches are considered as low heels, 3.5 inches are mid size, and anything more than 8.5 centimeters are considered high heels.

Kato Hassan, a fashion designer in Kampala says that fatter women need to abstain from very high and pointed heels since they could disfigure their legs and cause them a lot of pain

Kato adds that unfortunately most women do not follow the criteria of choosing shoes Women ought to choose shoes that suit their height and sizes and for particular occasions.

“Most women come here with shoe choices from online, sometimes they do not suit them therefore we recommend for those that will not cause them issues, advice that some follow and others do not.”Kato argues.

The perfect, pointy pair of heels can make any outfit, but with this style comes much suffering. High heels are known to be bad for health and comfort, but this barely stops women from wearing them occasionally and often daily. Women often make sacrifices for foot fashion, but at what price?

Doctors have warned that these towering shoes can be costly in more ways than one, “Taking their toll on your spine, hips, knees, ankles and feet, while altering your posture and gait. Swelling of the joint at the base of the big toe, hammer-toes, a permanent bend in the middle of the joint of a toe, nerve issues that cause shooting pain into the toes, ingrown toe nails and stress fractures among other things. High heels also bring about blood clots and these can move to different parts of the body, they could even lead to death.” Karuhanga Vincent, a general doctor explains.

Women are aware of the effects but are they ready to let go of the trend?

Namale Desire a business woman in Kampala admits, “High heel shoes have caused me a lot of pain and at some point my legs shake even when I am in flat shoes, but I cannot leave them no matter the repercussions.”

Doctors advise that women, put on flat shoes, allow easy movement, exercise, easy circulation of blood and maintain good posture.

Dr Karuhanga advises, “Generally women need flat shoes since our legs are flat. You can easily exercise, move freely and blood clots are not something that will affect you. In case you want to put on high heels, let it be once in a while and remember to carry flat shoes to alternate. I warn pregnant and fat women against putting on these high heels because they are the most affected group. They could easily fall and one can break their legs.”

The history of high heels dates back to the ancient days in Egypt and they were mainly worn for ceremonial purposes by the upper class people.

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