The Significance of Measurement Conditions When Examining the Effects of Wearing High Heel Shoes On Balance and Ankle Strength

  • Jung Min Park
  • Gwang Suk Hyun
  • Sang Ki Lee
  • Denny Eun
  • Min Su Kim
  • Hye Yoon Park
  • So Yeon Park
  • Jun Youl Cha
  • Dea Won Seo
  • Jaehyun Yoo
  • Jae Wan Park
  • Taeho Yu
  • Ji Eun Yu
  • Si Hwa Park
  • Yong Seok Jee


Aim: Previous studies have reported that the wearing of high heels can improve balance and ankle strength, however, those studies used an apparatus in which subjects were tested while wearing flat shoes. This study aims to examine whether testing the subjects while wearing the same heel height affect the results. Materials and Methods: Fifty-three female collegiate students were recruited. According to heel height, the participants were grouped into flat shoes group (FSG, n= 25) and heel shoes group (HSG, n= 28). Static balance and isokinetic moments of the ankle joints, composed of plantarflexor (PF), dorsiflexor (DF), invertor (IV), and evertor (EV), were measured. The peak torque (PT), work per repetition (WR), and total work (TW) of PF, DF, IV, and EV were obtained using test heights of 0cm and 7cm. Results: The static balance at 7cm test height was significantly higher in HSG than that of FSG. All isokinetic moments of PF and DF of HSG at 7cm test height were similar or slightly less than those of FSG. Although these results indicated an increase in ankle PF and DF strength in flat test conditions, such indications were lost if the test height was adjusted to match their heel height. Conclusion: It can be inferred that wearing high-heeled shoes may enhance balance and ankle joint strength due to muscle adaptation when measured under flat testing conditions. However, these beneficial effects disappeared when measured in testing conditions that matched their heel height, indicating that high-heeled shoes may not improve balance and ankle.