We all have those cute shoes that we just “have to have!” I know I have fallen victim to shoes with heels, pointy toes, and flip flops. However, my feet do not love these shoes as much as I do. Stilettos, open backed clogs, pointy toe pumps and even ballet flats offer no arch support. This can cause numerous problems for your feet including nerve damage, hammertoe, calluses, and heel pain.
Worst Shoe Offender: Flip-Flops
I literally had 10 pairs of flip-flops until I learned these are one of the worst shoes to wear. I have fallen out of my flip-flops and scraped my feet, strained my ankles, and even broke a toe. Flip-flops are one of the biggest reasons podiatrists see so many patients during nice weather. The common conditions associated with wearing these shoes are tendonitis and plantar fasciitis due to lack of support.
The solution: Invest in real sandals with supportive inserts like our Aetrex Sandalistas we carry in office.
When I was a little younger, I would wear heels to go out because they made the outfit look cute. I still wore them even though I knew I was only going to wear them briefly because of the pain they caused me. Pain can form due to the pressure and strain on the ball of the foot from heels. These high heels have even caused a friend of mine a stress fracture because they were so high!
The solution: Only wear heels on special occasions and infrequently. Also, if you do have to wear heels, use a ball of foot cushion to help relieve some of the pressure. Additionally, bring a backup pair of shoes just in case.
Pointy pumps are hazardous because they can cause neuromas. A neuroma is inflamation of the nerve between the toes. It is most common to see neuromas between the third and fourth toes, but it can also affect any of the toes.
The solution: Avoid these at all costs. Look for a shoe with a toe box that is more wide than pointy. You never want to squeeze your foot in a pair of shoes so much that you are put into an unnatural and uncomfortable position.
I love flats, but have found there are different types that give you more support than others. Ballet flats generally lack support and cushioning. Without proper support, there is a risk of tendonitis and plantar fasciitis, which is never good!
The solution: One rule to remember when choosing a flat: if it can be folded and put in your purse there probably isn’t much support. You want to make sure there is a real rubber sole with arch support. If there isn’t support in your flats, orthotics or Powersteps would be a great option for additional support.