Worst Shoes for Your Feet: Health Hazards of Pointy Toes, Spike Heels, and More - SanTanValley.com

Worst Shoes for Your Feet: Health Hazards of Pointy Toes, Spike Heels, and More

Worst Shoes for Your Feet: Health Hazards of Pointy Toes, Spike Heels, and More

You may know that spike heels can be painful, dangerous shoes, but what about ballet flats or flip flops? WebMD discusses the worst shoes for your feet.

Heels, flats, flip-flops -- some of the trendiest shoes can be the riskiest.

Every woman probably has at least one pair: those shoes that you absolutely adore. Some perhaps have dozens. My personal downfall is a gorgeous pair of salmon-pink suede Prada kitten heels with a very pointy toe, scored during an amazing sale a few years back.

The problem is, those shoes may be my very literal downfall, because, well, they’re just not good for my feet[1]. One look at them tells you why: How can you squeeze five normal-sized toes into an area barely big enough for a pinky toe?

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By Alyssa Kolsky Hertzig We’re accustomed to fussing over our faces, trying to turn back the clock on sunspots and lines. But there’s another age giveaway that could use more attention. "A woman in her 40s doesn’t have the hair she had at 20 — it’s not just her imagination," says British hair expert Philip Kingsley, author of The Hair Bible. As we age, our locks and scalp are affected by a trio of tribulations — namely dryness, dullness, and thinning. But our accumulating birthdays are not...

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Whether they’re skyscraper stilettos, open-backed clogs, pointy-toed pumps, or just ballet flats with no arch support, we have so many shoes and so many ways to destroy our feet.

So what types of shoes are worst for your feet, and what are you left with by the time you eliminate all the ones that cause everything from nerve damage[4] to hammertoe[5] to calluses?

You might be surprised at the winner of the Worst Shoe Olympics. According to podiatrist Andrew Shapiro, DPM, a spokesman for the American Podiatric Medical Association, it’s not spike heels or pointy boots. Instead, the worst offender is...


"Women are wearing flip-flops as everyday shoes!" laments Shapiro, who practices in Valley Stream, N.Y. "They’re meant for the beach and the pool, not for everyday walking[6]. They don’t give you any arch support, and don’t protect the foot at all, so it’s prone to injuries."

Even for an occasional stroll, flip-flops might be fine, if you don't overdo it, says John Anderson, MD, an associate professor of surgery at the University of Michigan College of Human Medicine and co-chair of the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society’s Public Education Committee.

"But a lot of people get caught up in the moment and try to do things flip-flops aren’t designed for: running[7] for a train, or jumping, or playing Frisbee or touch football in the backyard," Anderson says. "We see a lot of injuries from improper use of flip-flops and Crocs as well.”

Among the woes of misworn flip-flops, Shapiro says, are scraped feet, strained ankles, and broken toes[8] from falling right out of the shoe, as well as chronic problems due to lack of support, like tendonitis[9] and plantar fasciitis[10].

The solution: Unless you’re on the beach, wear real sandals, not flip-flops -- the kind with a strap in the back that at least holds your foot inside the shoe.

Coming in second in our Bad Shoe Sweepstakes is...

Spike Heels

But you probably already knew that, right?

It’s pretty obvious that the higher the heel, the more out of alignment your foot is. Feet just aren’t made to be jammed into that position for long periods of time. So how high is too high, anyway?


  1. ^ feet (www.webmd.com)
  2. ^ Does Your Hair Make You Look Old? (www.webmd.com)
  3. ^ Read the Does Your Hair Make You Look Old? article > > (www.webmd.com)
  4. ^ nerve damage (www.webmd.com)
  5. ^ hammertoe (www.webmd.com)
  6. ^ walking (www.webmd.com)
  7. ^ running (www.webmd.com)
  8. ^ broken toes (www.webmd.com)
  9. ^ tendonitis (www.webmd.com)
  10. ^ plantar fasciitis (arthritis.webmd.com)

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