How Your Footwear is Feeding Your Pain
Injury Care & Prevention Jul 31, 2015
How Your Footwear is Feeding Your Pain


You already know that a long day at work often leads to aching feet, but you might be surprised to hear that improper footwear can lead to a variety of serious foot conditions and pain all over the body. We work hard to maintain a professional image, and fashionable shoes are a big part of the presentation. However, some of the popular choices for both men and women can lead to agony in the ankles, knees, hips, and back.

Fear Heights

High heels are known for being tough on feet, but many women find them irresistible. The impact of wearing heels is, however, terrifying. Overuse of footwear with heels of more than two inches often results in a permanent deformity on the back of the heel. In addition, the pressure of walking exclusively on the ball of the foot causes stress and inflammation in the nerves, muscles, and tendons surrounding this joint, sometimes leading to hairline fractures. Finally, those wearing high heels are at a far greater risk of serious ankle sprains that may never fully heal. Osteoarthritis is a steep price to pay for fashion. Instead, choose from the many cute shoes available with heels of two inches or less, and consider a chunkier heel to keep stress on the foot at a minimum.

Don’t Point

Pointy shoes have been a plague for both men and women in recent years, crowding toes into an unnaturally small space. Aside from unattractive and uncomfortable foot deformities like hammer toes and bunions, pointy shoes can lead to severe nerve pain. The solution is to select footwear with a roomy, comfortable toe box, or to focus on styles made with softer materials, rather than stiff, rigid leather. Some brands have made an effort to balance fashion with foot health, creating comfortable performance pumps for women and loafers for men that look and feel great.

Get Full Support

The opposite of high heels is ballet flats, right? Sadly, no. Going too low with shoes that offer no support for your arches is just as dangerous as wearing heels that are too high. And when your arches are unhappy, the rest of your body suffers. Not only are your feet primed for aches and pains – perhaps even Plantar fasciitis – but your knees will start to bother you, your hips will lose their alignment, and your lower back will give you problems. Fortunately, the fix for ballet flats is quick and easy. Consult your care provider for appropriate inserts that will give you proper arch support, then wear your ballet flats with flair.