Perhaps not surprisingly, a study in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that high heels can permanently change the way you walk and increase risk for strain injuries. Standing in heels affects your entire posture. Putting more weight on your toes tilts your body forward and forces you to lean backwards and arch your back to maintain balance. This puts strain on your knees, hips and lower back, which can damage nerves. Chronic heel use can also result in ingrown toenails, bunions and irreversible tendon damage.