Millennial Women Scrapping High Heels--A Trend that Pleases Foot Doctors

Millennial women are driving a major change in fashion, and Jessica Rutstein couldn't be more pleased, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

No, she's not a fashion designer.  Dr. Jessica Rutstein is a podiatrist at the San Antonio Orthopaedic Group, and she says the fact that women under 35 are choosing to skip the high-heeled shoes which are so popular among GenX women is the best news she's heard in years.

She says keeping their heels closer to the ground will reap multiple health benefits over the women's entire lives.

"What's great about it, is you can buy a shoe that is wider, and it doesn't look awkward, because its cool," Dr. Rutstein said. "And this is great to prevent bunions and hammer-toes, and it also helps to protect toenail fungus because a lot of women wear very narrow shoes, that cause trauma to the nail."

Podiatrists have long worried about the damage that high heels were doing to women's feet, and to their overall health, especially since nineties TV shows like 'Sex and the City' popularized sky-high heels.

Dr. Rutstein says the change in fashion will help more than just women's long-suffering feet and ankles.

"Without such a narrow, tall heel, they will avoid getting bunions, hammer-toes, as well as knee pain, hip pain, and even back pain."

Dr. Rutstein says Millennial women tell her that they are choosing comfort over style for many reasons. 

Younger women are looking for a shoe they can wear all day, not just at work.

And today's Millennial workplaces are changing.  Many tech firms are moving to open office floor plans, with a lot of movement and even games like ping pong in the middle of the work floor, to encourage both relaxation and a free exchange of ideas that was not easy in old-fashioned 'cubicle farm' offices.

But the new tech work place is not high heel friendly.

Women today are also more interested in health than fashion, and with many running, cycling and participating in the sorts of action activities never favored by Carrie Bradshaw, the discomfort that high heels bring are distinctly out of fashion.

Also, the 'me-too' movement has led to a 'de-sexualizing' of the work force, with women choosing smart over sexy in the office.

"Most patients come in and their feet hurt, and when they get into a more casual shoe they feel better and they naturally want to be more active," Dr. Rutstein said. "This is definitely a trend that is going to keep on growing."

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