Wearing high heels for a prolonged period of time could lead to joint degeneration and knee osteoarthritis, it has been suggested.
A recent study conducted by a master's student at Iowa State University claimed that the shoes were a contributory factor.
Lorraine Jones, a podiatrist from the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists, suggested that the damage tends to be done due to an altered posture.
"High heeled shoes alter your posture, placing 25 per cent more pressure on your knee and hip joints, which can cause leg, knee and back pain and potentially increase your risk of osteoarthritis, exacerbate bunions and also cause corns," said Ms Jones.
To reduce the risk, she added that the best type of footwear for everyday use is a "comfortable heel and a wide toe box".
Arthritis Research UK recently funded a study which found that cultured stem cells can be used to treat osteoarthritis.
Work cartilage in joints such as the knee can be repaired with cells derived from bone marrow.