THE BLOG
02/21/2013 03:44 pm ET | Updated Apr 23, 2013

High-Heeled Sneakers for Girls Are Bad News

Schools make a big deal out of specifying proper footwear attire for students. Although this may seem like a no-brainer, kids run around an awful lot. When small feet are growing, the right support helps with proper foot development. But now, schools are dealing with an entirely different problem that comes with its own set of dangers: a sneaker with a wedge heel. Parents...are you kidding me?

If you're an adult who wears heels, you know how uncomfortable it is. Sending girls to school with high heel wedges is absolutely unacceptable. A principal at a Los Angeles public school says "this is a big problem and it needs to be stopped." Girls are towering over their classmates as they teeter to class. During PE they can barely dribble a ball, let alone run a lap around the track. The principal asks "what were their parents thinking?"

Dr. Noah Blumofe, a podiatrist practicing in Los Angeles, took one look at the shoes and informed me that they are equivalent to a two-inch heel. There is great danger here, he says:

When you look at heels in general, once you go ABOVE 1.5 inches, the entire dynamic of your body changes. When we walk, we go from a heel strike to full loading of the foot to pushing off the ball of the foot. When you are 2" and above, you spend the ENTIRE time on the ball of the foot. This forces increased pressure on the ball, causing the fat pad to shift, and press on the heads of the metatarsal bones, which may cause nerve pain. Then you are causing the achilles tendon to shorten early, which is a major cause of foot pains, such as plantar fasciitis. Then it causes your pelvis to tilt, along with your entire body's alignment.

Why would parents purchase these shoes? Dr. Blumofe thinks that it may be because the heel is "hiding in an 'athletic' shoe." They are on a shelf with other sneakers at a children's shoe store, and parents may not realize the ramifications of the purchase. When they pick up the hidden wedge heel, they are ensuring that their daughters "will be running around on the balls of their feet." This is unacceptable. Furthermore, This will cause an early shortening of the achilles and it will take YEARS of rehab to try and fix this problem later in life. It's easier to just not start."

Now that the principals are aware of the trend in sneaker wedge heels on elementary school campuses, they are telling students that shoes with heels of any sort are not welcome. Skechers should reconsider the entire fashion statement. Marketing heels to young children as tennis shoes should not be tolerated, sparkles and all. But parents, you are not off the hook. Dr. Blumofe is being much too generous. Can YOU play basketball in high heels?