High-Heel Injury Statistics

High-Heel Injury Statistics

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High-Heel Injury Statistics

Millions of women in the United States wear high heels almost every day. Some wear them because they like the way they look, while others wear them to meet a fashion standard set by their workplace or social circles. 

In some cases, women find themselves sacrificing comfort for fashion when they wear high heels. This sacrifice can result in blisters, cramps, or other types of discomfort.

If discomfort were the only danger of wearing high heels, they would probably be regarded as just another wardrobe article. But high heels are also dangerous, as you can see from common high-heel injury statistics. Thousands of women suffer serious injuries every year due to wearing high heels. And many of those injuries could be prevented by better workplace policies.

If you have been seriously injured due to wearing high heels, contact the personal injury lawyers at Morgan & Morgan to schedule a free case evaluation.

The Growth of High-Heel Injury Statistics

According to a study by researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, high-heel injuries have been increasing in the U.S. The research shows that annual injuries from high heels nearly doubled between 2002 and 2012.

Unfortunately, that research doesn’t come to any conclusions about what’s causing the increase in injuries. Researchers suggested that wearing high heels in the wrong settings might be part of the problem.

High-Heel Injuries in the Workplace

One setting that has become a hot-button issue is the workplace. Despite decades of research showing the dangers of wearing high heels, especially for prolonged periods, many workplaces in the U.S. still require women to wear high heels.

Ignoring the potential discrimination issues, these policies are also putting the health of employees at risk. High heels are like every other article of clothing, in that they eventually wear out. But when socks wear out, the worst that might happen is you get a blister. When a heel breaks at the wrong time, you could break an ankle or worse.

And that only accounts for the immediate injuries. Wearing high heels for long periods also puts stress on the lower leg, foot, and ankle. By forcing women to wear them every day, workplace policies could be causing employees to suffer stress fractures and other similar injuries.

If workplace policies are forcing you to wear dangerous footwear, despite high-heel injury statistics that show the harm in this, you may have a case against your employer. Speak to a personal injury lawyer at Morgan and Morgan to learn about your options.

Common High-Heel Injuries

According to the University of Alabama study, roughly 80% of high-heel injuries are located around the ankle or foot. Many of these injuries are debilitating and require a trip to the emergency room.

Broken Ankles

Approximately one in five high heel injuries involve broken bones. And since most of these injuries involve the ankle or foot, broken ankles are one of the most common types of injuries caused by high heels.

Broken ankles can happen when the shoe’s heel breaks while you’re walking or gets caught on an obstruction. In this case, the ankle absorbs your full weight when your foot awkwardly and unexpectedly shifts out of position.

Ankle injuries usually take months to recover from, in part because few people can spare the time and money necessary to avoid putting any weight on the ankle during recovery. This slows down recovery even more and leaves the person in pain for months or even years.

Stress Injuries

Not all high-heel injuries are sudden. Some injuries are a result of daily stress on the foot, ankle, and lower leg. This can result in a stress fracture or mild muscle tears.

A stress fracture typically isn’t as devastating as a clean break, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t painful. Stress fractures usually consist of cracked bones that can still hold your weight but hurt the entire time. Many people don’t even realize they have a broken bone because they can still walk on it. But the entire time they’re walking, it’s getting worse.

Similarly, muscle tears caused by stress injuries are often along the grain of the muscle. This can hurt a great deal, and the muscle is weakened but still able to support your weight. Similar to stress fractures, this will worsen over time, and you may not realize you have a torn muscle for years if you don’t visit a doctor.

Torn Achilles Tendons

Muscles aren’t the only soft tissue in your leg. You also have tendons and ligaments. This tissue is just as susceptible to damage as your muscles and bones.

Your Achilles tendon is a critical part of your foot and ankle. You use it when you walk, run, and jump. If it tears, you will find it almost impossible to put weight on the leg, let alone move around. Furthermore, a torn tendon almost always requires surgery to repair.

Even if the Achilles tendon doesn’t tear, daily pressure can cause it to swell. This is called tendonitis and is extremely painful. The best way to recover from tendonitis is by keeping weight off your leg and getting plenty of rest. This can be difficult if you have a job where you need to be on your feet every day.


Blisters aren’t usually serious injuries. If you get a blister, you put a bandage over it and it goes away after a few days. Unfortunately, that may not work with blisters caused by high heels.

If you are wearing high heels every day, then your blister is constantly being aggravated, even if you bandage it. Constant aggravation of a blister can lead to more serious consequences, such as pressure wounds or infections.

A pressure wound occurs when the constant pressure from a surface (like the side or back of a high-heeled shoe) creates a wound. This is similar to a blister, except that it’s an open wound that bleeds. Continued pressure can even start to damage tissue or bone under the wound.

The other threat is infection. An untreated blister or pressure wound is likely to get infected. And an untreated infection can eventually be fatal.

Infections spread if not treated. An uncontrolled infection in your foot may eventually require amputation of the foot and lower leg. If left to spread, the same infection can enter your torso and eventually reach critical organs. At that point, your life is in danger.

Sprains and Strains

The most common injury from high heels is sprains and strains. These injuries are relatively minor if you can avoid putting weight on the offending limb for a week or two. Strains and sprains are your body’s way of warning you that you are risking more serious injury if you continue the action that caused them.

Unfortunately, many workplaces won’t give employees time off to rest after this type of injury. And you may not even be able to get lighter work or desk duty. That can result in a strain or sprain turning into something worse. If this happens, consult with a Morgan & Morgan attorney as soon as possible.

Falling Injuries

While the majority of high-heel injuries occur near the foot, nearly one-fifth of injuries are above the leg. Most of these injuries are due to a fall while wearing high heels. Some of the most common injuries are:

  • Back injuries
  • Concussions
  • Broken arms or wrists
  • Lacerations, especially if you fall through a window

To avoid these types of injuries, you should wear high heels with caution and consider taking them off if you need to walk anywhere that doesn’t have dry, flat floors.

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Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.

Morgan & Morgan

  • Are Workplaces the Only Places I Can Sue if I Am Injured While Wearing High Heels?

    No, they are just the most likely to force you to wear high heels when you wouldn’t otherwise. Some schools might also have policies for students that force them to wear high heels in dangerous settings.

    Alternatively, even if you choose to wear high heels, you might be able to sue a business under premises liability laws if you were hurt. While the high heels contributed to your injury, if the premises should have been safe for that type of apparel, and it wasn’t, the owner is responsible for your injuries.

  • Do the High-Heel Injury Statistics Mean I Should Never Wear High Heels?

    That is your decision to make. The statistics show that wearing high heels is more dangerous than wearing other types of shoes, but they also suggest that certain settings are safer than others. 

    If you want to look fashionable, you can always wear high heels for short periods and switch to safer footwear when doing things like dancing or walking downstairs.

  • Can I Sue the Manufacturer of My High Heels if I Am Injured While Wearing Them?

    That depends on whether the high heels were defective or not. If they were defective and that defect caused your injury, then you can sue the manufacturer. Every case is different, but if you have reason to suspect a defect in your high heels, a personal injury attorney at Morgan and Morgan will be happy to investigate your claim.

  • Do I Need a Lawyer if I Suffer a High-Heel Injury?

    There is no way to know for sure whether you need a lawyer for your case until you consult an attorney. Thankfully, the consultation is free. If you have a strong case, the lawyer will let you know what your options are, and you can decide how to proceed.

    Any time you are injured while wearing high heels, even if you are at home, you should consult with an attorney as soon as possible. At worst, you will lose a little time. But in some situations, your lawyer will get you money that you didn’t even know you were eligible to receive.

  • How Much Will a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost Me?

    You will only pay us a fee if we win money for you in your personal injury case. If that happens, we will charge you a previously agreed-upon percentage of the money we get you and nothing more.

  • Attorneys at Morgan and Morgan Know High-Heel Injury Statistics

    The lawyers at our law firm are very familiar with the current high-heel injury statistics. And we also know that many workplaces ignore those statistics and require employees to wear these types of shoes, even when it isn’t safe. 

    If you have been harmed because you had to wear high heels where it wasn’t safe to do so, contact our law firm right away to schedule a free case evaluation.

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