Could Your Shoes Be Causing You Health Problems?
If you’re dealing with foot problems, your choice in footwear could very well be the culprit. Avoid committing what some podiatrists call “shoeicide” by throwing the following shoes out from your closet.
1. High Heels
When it comes to poor shoe choices, high heels are among the worst. Wearing high heels can cause falls, ankle sprains, blisters, bunions, hammertoes, and a host of other problems. High heels make you raise your heels, which pushes your center of gravity forward. You bend your back to compensate for this, which changes the position of your spine and puts pressure on the nerves in your back.
In the long run, wearing high heels can lead to severe leg pain and lower back pain. Some women who wear high heels too often cannot even put their feet flat on the ground anymore because it is too painful. It’s best to avoid high heels altogether, but if you must wear them, stick with heels that are no higher than 1.5 inches or wear them in moderation (no more than once or twice a week).
2. Ballet Flats
Ballet flats seem like a healthier alternative to high heels, but they can actually be just as bad for your feet because they provide no cushioning or structure. Wearing ballet flats is akin to walking on cardboard. Because they lack internal support, flats can cause the ligaments and tendons along the bottom of your feet to overstretch and the arches to collapse. This can lead to a painful condition known as plantar fasciitis, which causes burning and aching along the bottom of the feet. You can use over-the-counter orthotic inserts in your ballet flats to prevent mild foot pain.
Flip-flops are a summertime favorite. While flip-flops may be appropriate for wearing poolside, in public showers, or at the beach, they are not suitable for extensive walking because they lack arch support. Flip-flops can cause you foot pain, tendinitis, or a sprained ankle if you accidentally trip. You’re also at greater risk of stubbing a toe, getting cut with glass, or having a heavy object hit your foot if you wear flip-flops since they offer little protection.
4. Toning Shoes
Toning shoes, which are all the rage these days, supposedly tone your butt and legs as you walk. However, this seemingly quick and easy fitness solution may do more harm than good. Toning shoes make you unstable, so wearing them can lead to ankle injuries. Toning shoes can also cause tendinitis; foot, leg, and hip pain; or plantar fasciitis. Skip the toning shoes and wear good running shoes instead.
5. Pointy-Toed Shoes
Pointy-toed shoes might be fashionable, but they’re bad news for your feet. By squeezing the front of your feet together, pointy-toed shoes can cause bunions, blisters, and hammertoes. Wearing pointy-toed shoes can also lead to neuroma, or inflammation of the nerve between the toes. Wear shoes with a wider toe box to give your feet enough room to move around easily.
It basically comes down to this: if a pair of shoes feels comfortable, they’re probably OK. If shoes make your feet hurt, then don’t wear them!
Schedule An Appointment At Our Seattle Foot Clinic
Whatever the cause of your foot ailments, the experienced podiatrists at Integrative Foot & Ankle Centers of Washington can help you diagnose and treat them. We have convenient locations in Kirkland, Redmond, Seattle, Renton, and Everett. Call (425) 678-3877 or fill out our online contact form to schedule an appointment!