How Young is Too Young?

Children & Heels: How Young is too young?


Does wearing heels at a young age cause poor foot health?

Is it an issue for a young child to wear heels?

In 2011, French Vogue pictured 10-year-old model, Thylane Loubry Blondeau wearing skyscraper high heels in one of their high fashion shoots. This, of course, has gained the medias’ attention as it is questionable as to whether or not it is appropriate for a young girl to be portrayed in such a way. We, however, are going to view this as an issue from a health standpoint rather than a moral one.

Even for adults, high heels are considered a poor health choice when it comes to caring for your feet. Long-standing high heel use may lead to bunions, hammer toes and general foot pain. For a young girl whose bones are softer than those of an adult, wearing high heels and pointy-toed shoes can cause the softer, growing bones to become deformed and misshapen. Simply put, bone growth occurs from a cartilaginous precursor that becomes calcified and hardened.

Have you heard of Chinese foot binding?

This concept is along the same lines as poor foot health. It is, of course, different because of heel height, duration of time spent in the heel and frequency of wear; these factors contribute to how badly the foot becomes deformed but, simply until young girls stop growing, there is a significant risk to causing bone and joint deformations within the foot.

From a bone-related standpoint, females reach skeletal maturity around age 14, but even after skeletal maturity, the risk of developing foot problems still exists.