Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2005 May;86(5):871-5.

Moderate-heeled shoes and knee joint torques relevant to the development and progression of knee osteoarthritis.

Author information

  • 1Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA.



To determine if women's dress shoes with heels of just 1.5 in (3.8 cm) in height increases knee joint torques, which are thought to be relevant to the development and/or progression of knee osteoarthritis (OA) in both the medial and patellofemoral compartments.


Randomized controlled trial.


A 3-dimensional motion analysis gait laboratory.


Twenty-nine healthy young women (age, 26.7+/-5.0 y) and 20 healthy elderly adult women (age, 75.3+/-6.5 y).


Not applicable.


Peak external varus knee torque in early and late stance and prolongation of flexor knee torque in early stance. Three-dimensional data on lower-extremity torques and motion were collected during walking while (1) wearing shoes with 1.5-in high heels and (2) wearing control shoes without any additional heel. Data were plotted and qualitatively compared; major peak values and timing were statistically compared between the 2 conditions using paired t tests.


Peak knee varus torque during late stance was statistically significantly greater with the heeled shoes than with the controls, with increases of 14% in the young women and 9% in the elderly women. With the heeled shoes, the early stance phase knee flexor torque was significantly prolonged, by 19% in the young women and by 14% in elderly women. Also, the peak flexor torque was 7% higher with the heeled shoe in the elderly women.


Even shoes with moderately high heels (1.5 in) significantly increase knee torques thought to be relevant in the development and/or progression of knee OA. Women, particularly those who already have knee OA, should be advised against wearing these types of shoes.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk