Women's shoes and knee osteoarthritis

Lancet. 2001 Apr 7;357(9262):1097-8. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(00)04312-9.


We assessed whether wearing wide-heeled shoes has a similar effect on knee torque to narrow-heeled shoes by measuring the joint torques of 20 healthy women during walking. Wearing wide-heeled shoes had a 30% greater effect on peak external knee flexor torque than walking barefoot. Walking with wide-heeled and narrow-heeled shoes increased peak knee varus torque by 26% and 22%, respectively. Our findings imply that wide-heeled shoes cause abnormal forces across the patellofemoral and medial compartments of the knee, which are the typical anatomical sites for degenerative joint changes.

Publication types

  • Letter
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / physiology*
  • Knee Joint / physiopathology
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / etiology*
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / physiopathology
  • Shoes / adverse effects*
  • Walking / physiology*