Footwear trends may come and go, but you only get one set of feet. But which types of shoes are the worst offenders? The answers may surprise you. We have put together a list of some of the worst shoes for your feet. And… you might want to sit down for this one.
#10. SKY HIGH HEELS
On this blog, we’ve talked a lot about high heels and their particular affinity for causing bunions. But there are many more reasons why ultra-high heels should be avoided. Our foot and ankle specialists have seen many patients with ankle sprains from walking in heels.
If you lose your balance in heels, and roll onto the outside of your foot, the ankle ligaments get overstretched. Each sprain also increases your chances of osteoarthritis. The unnatural position that heels force your foot into can cause hairline fractures in the foot bones and chronic pain.
Super-high heels can also irritate some women whose feet have Haglund’s deformity, also known as “pump bump.” The deformity is a bony little bump on the Achilles region that rubs up against the stiff material forming the back of a pump-style shoe. This could lead to blisters, bursitis, pain, and swelling in the Achilles tendon.
Unfortunately, we can’t give you a break on this one. You should replace your stratospheric heels with ones no higher than 2 inches. For the sheer number and diversity of problems sky-high heels can cause, we rate them: 5 Toes Down.
Not shocking that these made the worst shoes list, come on, you didn’t think you were going to get away with these, did you? The word “stiletto” comes from an Italian word that literally means “dagger with a tapering blade.” They are weapons that you are wearing as shoes. Any wobbling in stilettos can throw you off balance and sprain your ankle.
If you must wear heels, choose a chunkier heel for better stability. For the risk of ankle sprains and the annoying way that they never seem to go out of style, we rate stilettos: Please stab whoever invented these.
#8. BALLET FLATS
You might have thought you were being sensible when you opted for ballet flats, and although they are considerably easier to wear than high heels, ballet flats can still do some damage. Made out of little more than a flimsy piece of cardboard, ballet flats give your foot no arch support at all. Not only can they cause you back, hip, and knee problems, wearing them regularly can also lead to plantar fasciitis. And that’s why they made the worst shoes ever list.
The redeeming factor for ballet flats is that they can easily hide an orthotic insert. You can have them custom fitted by your foot and ankle specialist, or you can find them at your local drug store. For the quick and easy fix that looks just as cute, we rate ballet flats: you’re allowed to wear them!
So cheap. So easy to put on. So perfect for the beach. But that’s about the most we can say in favor of flip-flops. They leave your foot exposed, so even just walking around can pose a hazard. People with diabetes should definitely avoid flip-flops due to the risk of cuts or scrapes.
With absolutely zero arch support, flip flops can also trigger back, hip, or knee pain and plantar fasciitis. Fortunately, many companies are designing shoes that have the look of flip flops, with the support of a more fitted shoe. For their poolside and beach-bum handiness, we rate flip-flops: two surfs up! But for activity purposes, we rate them: two stubbed toes down.
Those big ole Chunky, solid soles make the footbeds of most platform shoes stiff and inflexible. The shoes resist the natural flexing and bending of your feet as you walk.
Of course, a flatter platform is preferable to a high-heeled, tapering one, but your feet are still locked into the rigid structure of the shoe. For their stubborn stiffness, we rate platforms: Mod in moderation.
And the 5 worst shoes for your feet are…
Tune in next week for the top 5 worst shoes, as well as the “Mother Monster” of shoe safety (hint, hint…)
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