I'm pretty sure younger women can handle them as well now as we did then.
That's the problem ehbeth.
We didn't handle them well then, and they aren't handling them well now.
Beside obvious foot/ankle damage, heels throw off the balance, strength, structural integrity of every part of your body.
High heels force your calves, knees, thighs, hamstrings, pelvis, spine, neck, shoulder girdle, etc out of alignment. Then, women compensate by adjusting their stance/walk, making the problem even worse.
Oh, but they look so nice!