02/06/2012 02:19 EST | Updated 02/17/2012 01:00 EST

High Heel Dangers And Slip-Ups: Should You Ditch Your Stilettos?

Slipping into your favourite pair of heels will undoubtedly make you feel and look sexier, but is looking your sartorial best really worth the pain your feet will have to endure in later years? Celebrities prance around on stage in sky-high heels all the time, but as we saw with Madonna's stumble during Sunday's Super Bowl XLVI halftime performance, not all shoes were made for walking -- uh, we mean dancing.

Check out some of the most embarrassing stage dives by models -- ever. Story continues below.

models falling

According to Australian scientists, women who wear heels constantly (at least 40 hours a week) suffer from shortened fibres in their calf muscles. So essentially, the muscles in your leg experience more strain, meaning heel-wearers need -- and use -- more energy to walk than those who wear flats.

What's more, adult-acquired flat foot -- the stretching out of a tendon near the ankle bone -- is common among women over 40, and high heels, as well as the weakening of enzymes in the tendons, lead to this painful problem.

Ironically, slipping into flats to give your feet a break may only increase your chance of injury -- wearing high heels on a daily basis forces your muscles into a new "default" walking position, meaning your feet and calves won't know how to handle walking without a little elevation.

So what's the best way to stomp away foot problems? Doctors suggest wearing heels once or twice a week (maximum) -- and if that's not possible, try to take them off when you're sitting at your desk.

Check out some of the other ways high heels affect your health by watching the below video.