Excerpts from Eric Dalton’s article: http://erikdalton.com/gaga-over-heels/
The propulsive power thief
Many women love to wear high heels—and, I might add, many men like women in high heels. However, it’s true some women, like Lady Gaga, suffer for their vanities. In young women, this is accommodated by ankle and hip mobility and low-back stability. But many high-heel wearing women find as they age and their hip joints stiffen, shockwaves shoot through the lumbar spine and cause disc compression, ligamentous laxity and facet joint spurring.
Women should be cautious about wearing heels constantly, or over long periods of time. Clearly, the human foot was not designed to walk in stilettos—or cowboy boots, for that matter. The foot is specifically constructed to land in a heel-to-toe, rolling motion whereby the arch, ankle and knee absorb shock, or stored energy, and release the ground reaction force up the kinetic chain to counter-rotate the torso and pelvis.
As we saw in our demonstrations, the heeled shoe steals this propulsive power from tendons, ligaments and leg muscles. Not only do heels place the foot and leg under greater stress to achieve the demands of propulsion, but the borrowed power must be leeched from higher structures in the kinetic chain, including the knees, thigh muscles, hips and trunk. As a small army of anatomical reinforcements are recruited to rescue the handicapped fascial tissues, the body continues to lose energy to the ground.
Heels of any height set in motion a series of gait-negative consequences, making natural gait—meaning the barefoot form—impossible. Don’t let your clients be a slave to fashion; fix their feet and give them back the natural spring in their step.