Thursday, 14 March 2013

Which shoes are the worst for your feet?

Footwear and its effect on your body

We spend most of the day on our feet. We walk, run, climb, stand for long periods of time and generally abuse our feet a lot. To make matters worse, we use the wrong type of footwear and add to the strain that we put on our feet. Ill fitting footwear not only puts stress on the feet, but it strains the back too. Let’s take a look at the various kinds of footwear and its effect on our feet.

Stilettos or high heels

This is by far the worst offender. The foot is in an abnormal angle and this strains your feet and your back, as the body tries to keep its equilibrium. Any kind of high heeled shoes is not good for your feet and back. Stilettos are especially bad as the chances of twisting your foot and getting an ankle sprain or a hairline fracture is a possibility. Most women prefer stilettos when they go to work, as it gives them more height. If you wear stilettos on a regular basis, try to rest your feet when you are at your table, by taking off the shoes and doing some simple foot exercises. There are insoles available that can be fitted to the stilettos to make it a bit more comfortable. Some common problems that arise when using stilettos are Achilles tendon and stress fractures.

Flip Flops

Surprisingly, flip flops which one would think is one of the most comfortable types of footwear ranks high among foot offenders. People tend to wear flip flops all the time, whether at home or going out. The reason why flip flops are not the right choice of footwear for regular use is that they don’t have an arch support.

They are also open footwear and the chances of hurting your foot are high. You could develop chronic foot problems like tendonitis or plantar fasciitis.


If your pumps are high heeled, the same injuries that occur with stilettos could happen. But high heeled pumps are worse than open toed stilettos as the whole foot is bearing down on the pointed end of the pump. Neuromas, which are inflammations between the toes, can occur along with other problems like hammer toes. The pain of a neuroma could be quite severe and you may need physical therapy or even surgery to remove it. 

Ballet shoes

You would think ballet shoes would be a good choice, but like flip flops they do not offer any support for the arch and unlike flip flops they don’t have cushioning under the feet. So you could develop corns and calluses. Wearing closed ballet shoes could also give rise to bacteria and foot infections because the enclosed shoes keep the foot humid. Some ways to prevent problems when using ballet shoes are by inserting gel supports that can give your arch support and cushion your foot. Airing your feet once in a while and using fungal powder in the morning and night should prevent bacterial build up.

Almost all kinds of shoes do affect the feet in some way. But the fact is, walking barefoot isn’t that great for your feet either. These small pieces of our body support our whole weight, help us maintain balance and are probably one of the most neglected parts of our body. So, there is really no perfect shoe for the foot. The best thing to do is find a shoe that you are comfortable in and use some kind of orthotic help to make sure that you are giving your foot optimum care.

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