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J Am Podiatr Med Assoc. 2014 Jan-Feb;104(1):58-65.

Effects of high-heeled shoes and asymmetrical load carrying on lower-extremity kinematics during walking in young women.

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School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.



Asymmetrical load carrying and wearing high-heeled shoes are very common. Biomechanics studies on the combined effects of high-heeled shoe wearing and asymmetrical load carrying are lacking. We sought to identify changes in lower-extremity joint kinematics associated with the effect of shoes and asymmetrical load carrying during walking.


Fifteen healthy young women (mean ± SD: age, 24.67 ± 3.54 years; body weight, 54.96 ± 6.67 kg; and height, 162.2 ± 3.91 cm) who habitually wore high-heeled shoes participated in the study. They were asked to walk under nine combined conditions of three heights of shoe heels (0, 3, and 9 cm) and three carried loads (0%, 5%, and 10% of body weight). Temporospatial parameters and maximal joint angles in the sagittal and frontal planes of the hip, knee, and ankle on both limbs were studied.


It was found that high-heeled shoe wearing and asymmetrical load carrying altered temporospatial parameters and joint kinematics. With increased heel height and load weight, cadence decreased and stride length increased. The knee flexion angle increased with an increase in heel height, and the load served only to exacerbate the changes. Changes in the hip angle were mostly caused by asymmetrical load carrying, whereas angle changes in the ankle were mostly caused by an increase in heel height.


This study demonstrated that when high-heeled shoe wearing and asymmetrical load carrying are combined, changes at each joint are much greater than with high-heeled shoe wearing or load carrying alone.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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