Shoes play a very important role in our lives, and not only as an all-important fashion accessory! The shoes we wear can affect our feet, posture, and even blood circulation, which in turn can impact our overall health.
A couple of years ago, I wrote a post about the best brands for comfortable shoes based on input I had gotten from readers. And while today’s post is also about shoes, today we’ll be focusing on the opposite end of the shoe spectrum.
Because the truth is that some shoes are just plain bad for your feet! Wearing the wrong pair of shoes over an extended time period can lead to lasting injuries, and not even the cutest pair is worth that kind of suffering!
So today I’ll be sharing a list of 4 of the worst offenders when it comes to potentially harmful footwear. And for each shoe listed below, I’ve also included recommendations for minimizing or avoiding harm in case you just can’t give them up!
The 4 Worst Shoes For Your Feet
1. Stilettos Over 2 Inches
It’s no surprise that stiletto heels are near the top of every “worst shoes for your feet” list. The height of the heel forces your weight onto the balls of your feet, which can lead to pinched nerves and shortened tendons.
Over time, shortened tendons can make it painful to wear non-heeled shoes. And since many high-heeled shoes can be pretty painful to wear to begin with, that’s definitely not a cycle you want to get stuck in!
Do This Instead: If you can’t give up your towering stilettos, stick to wearing them on date nights and special occasions. Doctors recommend limiting your time in tall stilettos to 2-3 hours, so an evening out would fit the bill nicely.
You can also do foot stretches and exercises regularly to help keep your feet healthy. (Tracing the alphabet with each foot is an easy option!)
2. Ballet Flats
It shouldn’t be too surprising that tall stilettos can be bad for your feet, but I didn’t anticipate that ballet flats can pose problems too! But ballet flats offer very little arch support, which puts a lot of pressure on your heel.
Over time, that added pressure can lead to plantar fasciitis, a painful condition caused by inflammation of the tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot.
Do This Instead: Put supportive inserts in your flats, which will help ensure that pressure is distributed more evenly across the bottom of your foot.
3. Flip Flops & Slides
Much like ballet flats, lack of support is also an issue with flip flops and slide sandals. Wearing them too often can not only lead to plantar fasciitis, but hip, knee, or even back problems too!
Another issue with flip flops and slides is lack of protection. They leave your feet exposed to potential splinters, cuts, scrapes, and more!
Do This Instead: Love flip flops? Try a toning flip flop designed for walking. They typically have a thicker sole and more arch support than standard flip flops.
You may also consider choosing a Birkenstock sandal. Their cork footbeds are firm and supportive, plus they offer better protection than most sandals.
Heeled mules are my favorite style of shoe! But as much as it pains me to admit it, they aren’t doing our feet any favors!
While heels aren’t great to begin with, heels that don’t support the back of your feet are even worse! When you walk in them, you have to curl your toes to keep the shoes on your feet, which can lead to sprains, hammertoes, and bunions.
Do This Instead: Try a slingback instead! You can still have the heel, but you’ll have more support from the strap, which means no more toe-curling to keep your shoes from flying off!
Have you experienced foot issues because of a painful pair of shoes?