3D foot scanner reveals health risks for high-heels
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Image made with 3D scanner (screenshot).
Image made with 3D scanner (screenshot).

It's long been known that women who wear high heels on a daily basis risk ankle and foot damage but now medical specialists can show wearers of high heels exactly how the shoes are impacting their health.

A new 3D scanner at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in north London is set to transform the way doctors diagnose and treat foot and ankle problems, and may even influence the way shoes are designed in the future.

The scanner, made by a U.S. company, Curvebeam, allows doctors to examine feet and ankles down to the bones, as their patients stand inside the scanner wearing their shoes. And the patients can see in real time the impact of their choices, which often result in much ankle and foot pain.

"For many years we've been designing shoe wear so that our feet have to fit into someone else's idea of shoes," says orthopedic surgeon Andy Goldberg. "And the new paradigm that I'd love to see in the future is if we can develop shoes that fit people's feet comfortably, and that will improve people's health immeasurably."