How Do Your Favorite Shoes Stack up? Short-term and Long-term Health Effects of Popular Types of Shoes



High heels can do WHAT to your feet and ankles??!Do you have your long-term health and mobility in mind when you choose new shoes to add to your collection? Most people do not – and it’s not surprising that many of them will probably face foot problems due to excessive wearing of uncomfortable shoes or those with poor support. How do your favorite shoes stack up? Do you know if you are giving your feet and your body the support needed to stay healthy and strong?

Wearing your favorite shoes in moderation is probably okay if you find out that your preferred shoe style is not the best for your feet. If you wear the same kinds of trendy or fashion shoes very often without regard to comfort or support, you may start to experience foot problems earlier in life than you would if you wore more supportive shoes all the time. Consider these tips from podiatric experts who share the scoop on the best and worst shoes for your feet.

The Best and Worst Shoes and Long-term Health Effects of Each
Everyone has a favorite pair of shoes – that special pair to wear to a fancy occasion or the most comfortable pair to wear around the house, running errands, and everything in between. Find out if your favorite pair of shoes has any particular short-term or long-term health effects or problems on your feet.

“It’s really difficult to rank shoes because there are different situations that make the various shoes good or bad,” says Dr. Marlene Reid, spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association.

High Heels / Stilettos

Are stilettos and high heels bad for you? These red strappy stilettos are beautiful, but will they hurt your feet?“Women with high arches tend to be more comfortable in heels than flat footed women, but excessive use of heels causes many times the normal pressure on the ball of the foot and can cause stress fractures, inflammation of the ball of the foot, and even ligament ruptures at the joints of the ball of the foot, which can lead to hammertoes and dislocated joints. Constant heel use can also cause the Achilles tendon to become contracted and then make wearing flatter shoes difficult. Some women even fall off their heels and suffer sprained ankles!”
–    Dr. Marlene Reid, spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association

Red peep-toe high heels look hot, but what will they do to your feet and ankles over time?“When wearing these types of shoes, women are more likely to develop metatarsalgia (ball of foot pain), blisters or ingrown toenails secondary to narrow toeboxes, suffer ankle sprains/fractures due to instability, aggrevate neuroma symptoms because they have a pointy/narrow toebox.”
(Rated stilettos and high heels 12th on a 13-point scale of 1-Best :: 13-Worst)
–    Dr. Melissa Hong, podiatric expert at Crystal Lake Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine, LTD

“Wearing high heels, or stilettos, will change a person’s center of gravity. This will cause poor balance with strain and stress on other body parts, such as knees, hips, and the lower back. There is also a greater chance of spraining or breaking an ankle or foot bone if you fall.  In addition, there is more stress placed on the ball of the foot and this can cause a painful condition known as bursitis. The toes may be curled in a tight and narrow shoe toebox (front of the shoe) which can lead to blistering, corns, and calluses.  The shape of the shoe may also aggravate and worsen existing conditions such as bunions, hammertoes, and neuromas (a pinched nerve).”
–    Dr. Robin Ross, podiatrist and New York State Podiatric Medical Association

High heels can do WHAT to your feet and ankles??!“High heels of any kind [can cause] shortened achilles/leg muscles, aggravation of bony problems like bunions, hammertoes… Can cause blisters, corns, calluses, neuromas, metatarsalgia, instability leading to ankle sprains or falls.”
–    Dr. Jane Andersen, Board Certified Podiatrist in private practice in Chapel Hill, NC

Platforms / Wedges Shoes
“Platforms / wedges shoes that don’t allow your foot to bend naturally can cause the tendons to be overworked and can cause tendonitis or inflammation and pain. Because they limit normal motion, people with arthritis may benefit from wedge shoes.”
–    Dr. Marlene Reid, spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association

These hippie style platform wedge shoes are a bit better for you than typical high heels...“This type of shoe tends to be better than a pointed heel because the weight-bearing sole is wider and therefore absorbs more shock. Any heeled shoe should be less than two inches.”
(Rated platforms and wedges 6th on a 13-point scale of 1-Best :: 13-Worst)
–    Dr. Melissa Hong, podiatric expert at Crystal Lake Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine, LTD

“Platform, or wedges, are ‘in’ and come in all sizes and shapes. The higher the platform or wedge, the worse the center of gravity becomes when walking. A high platform or wedge may cause the individual to lose their balance and twist an ankle which may lead to chronic ankle instability or even a broken bone in the ankle or foot. It is important to make sure that the shoe material is made of cotton or a soft, supple leather. Plastic will irritate the skin and may dig into the skin causing blisters. Tight straps may feel like a tourniquet, as the day (or night) progresses, and the feet naturally swell over the course of the day and can become very uncomfortable, if not downright painful.”
–    Dr. Robin Ross, podiatrist and New York State Podiatric Medical Association

Boots with a Heel…


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2 thoughts on “How Do Your Favorite Shoes Stack up? Short-term and Long-term Health Effects of Popular Types of Shoes

  1. Heel pain is most often caused by plantar fasciitis, a condition that is sometimes also called heel spur syndrome when a spur is present. Heel pain may also be due to other causes, such as a stress fracture, tendonitis, arthritis, nerve irritation, or, rarely, a cyst.”;-`

  2. I’m super petite and it’s hard for me to stay way from high heels and wedges,it’s the only way to add height to my small body frame… 🙁 I wish i’m tall so i can avoid these risky stilletos… 😥

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