Your Feet On X-Ray: Barefoot vs. Pointy-Toe High Heels…

By | April 15, 2019
X-Ray of a Patient’s Foot
After a Lifetime of Improper Shoegear…


X-Ray of an eighty year old patient’s foot who wore “pointy-toe high heels” for years.

 X-Rays of My Feet in

Barefoot vs. Pointy Toe Shoes…

The first questions I always get when I first show patients their x-rays is: what are those two ‘circle things’? Those are bones called ‘sesmoids’ and they are normal and are located under the ball of your first toe joint. The first x-ray of my foot is me standing barefoot. The second x-ray is looking straight down on my foot in a high heel pointy-toe dress shoe. 

I’ve labelled the ‘medial cunneiform’ bone as #1 and the ‘navicular bone’ as #2, which gives you an appreciation of the angle that the foot in a three inch high heeled shoe. I also cut the second x-ray in the shape of the actual shoe that my foot was in and I outlined the bones on x-ray with a Sharpie pen so that the bones could be more easily visualized. My photos don’t do the x-rays justice but, hopefully, they will give an appreciation of what happens to your toes inside of pointy-toe shoes.

I always recommend that if you wear high-heeled shoes – try to find shoes with a wide, soft toebox. Pointy toed shoes can cause hammertoes, bunions, corns, calluses, Morton’s Neuromas and osteoarthritic joint changes that are painful and cosmetically unpleasing. 

If you are looking for a comfortable high heels – look for a shoe with a thick, rigid wedge sole, rearfoot strapping and, of course, the soft and wide toebox.


Check out my list of
“Top 20 Comfortable Women’s Dress Shoes”
by using the ‘search’ box at the upper right of the blog.



Hope all is well,

Dr. Cathleen A. McCarthy

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