Dashing with the rush of MTR commuters one day last week, I couldn't help but notice some women tottering awkwardly along the crowded platform in their towering heels. Trying desperately to look elegant, pain was etched into their faces.

Certainly, there are occasions when stilettos are a welcome addition to an outfit, but why wear them on a commute? Or to the office, at all?

Hong Kong-based chiropractor Dr Michael Back says there are many more lows than highs when it comes to standing tall: "Heels push a woman's centre of gravity forward, increasing the risk of problems including osteoarthritis, spinal disc degeneration, back, neck, knee, ankle and heel pain, bunions, Achilles tendinitis." The list goes on.

A 50-something former colleague once showed me how her toes had curled under her arches like clenched fists. Thinking it was a deformity, I was shocked to learn her feet had morphed into those shapes after years of wearing ill-fitting high heels in the workplace. Did I hear the words "fashion victim"?

I can't help but draw comparisons between my ex-colleague's gnarled feet and the images I saw earlier this year at an exhibition of photographer Jo Farrell. That show was about foot binding, the cruel practice of mutilating the feet of young girls that was prevalent in turn-of-the-century China, when it was seen as a sign of wealth. Women believed following this fashion made them more beautiful and attractive to suitors, and disregarded the pain and damage it was causing their feet.

Sound familiar? I rest my case.