Musculoskeletal & Orthopedic Biomechanics Lab

Cole Haan- Biomechanics of high-heeled shoes

High heel design and shape have shown to alter wearer’s walking mechanics as well as foot plantar pressure.  Wearers of high heels experience amplified peak pressure in the forefoot while walking compared to wearers of flats or running sneakers.  Forefoot pressure is indicative of perceived shoe comfortability and improved design may help alleviate the high forefoot pressure associated with heels.  The aim of this study is to determine the effect of wearing high heels and different heel designs on walking.

How do I get involved?

If interested, please contact the MOBL study team by emailing or by phone at 413-545-4421.

Study Aims:

• Determine the effect of shoe design on walking

• Investigate the effect of high heels on joint contributions

Prospective participants must meet the following criteria:

• Female with size 6 feet.


• Age 21-45 years and BMI <30kg/m2


• Be in good general health


• Have no history of major lower extremity surgery, injury or current joint pain


• Have no history of cardiovascular or neurological conditions (heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, stroke)


• Have experience walking in heels




 Participants will be asked to complete one visit to the lab, where they will be asked to walk and stand in several different shoes while researchers measure walking patterns, muscle activity, and the pressure pattern under participants' feet. Participants will also be asked to complete questionnaires about their general health.  Participants who complete the study will receive a gift card to Cole Haan stores.