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Chic Shoes Could Be Hurting You: AOC Explores How Different Shoes Relate To Leg Injuries

Ladies your shoes are cute, but are they really worth the achy feet? Our shoes reflect our personal style, but more often than not, they aren’t good for your feet, legs and back. While shoes may show off your unique style, they can be the root cause of common discomfort in your feet, legs and back. Here are three types of shoes that could be causing you pain.

1. High Heels:

Ladies we know you love your pumps and how they make you feel, but the reality is that high heels have been found to have lasting negative effects on your feet and legs. Your favorite stilettos can cause shin splints, hair-line fractures, and even a sprained ankle. There are safer alternatives such as wearing lower 3/4 chunky heel or wearing a commuter shoe (a pair of sneakers or tennis shoes).

2. Flip Flops:

Flip flops are the go to shoe for comfort seekers but the truth is wearing flip flops can tear and inflame the plantar fascia, which is an important tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot. If you just have to wear flip flops, buy a pair that are fitted and provide ample arch support to contour to the shape of your foot.

3. Flat shoes:

We all want to embody the effortless style of Audrey Hepburn’s ballet flats, but like high heels, flats can have negative effects on your feet. Flats are like their description; they have no arch support and have less cushioning than normal shoes. Wearing flats often can lead to the ligaments and tendons in your feet to overstretch and collapse, which is the cause of your achy feet.

The next time you buy shoes, keep this in mind: always buy shoes that provide ample support. You don’t have to substitute style, you can take simple steps like buying insoles for your flats and heels to give you the support those shoes lack.

The secret to happy feet

There is not a day in the office when someone does not discuss shoes.  Proper protection and comfort are critical for our feet, as they are continuously subjected to high stress and injury with normal daily use.  Shoe-wear issues are a constant balancing act between the need of protection and comfort versus style and social expression.

Women, particularly, can struggle with the shoe dilemma. While heeled, fashionable pumps, can seem to be a good fashion choice, the consequences of prolonged wear could make them less desirable. The constant use of heeled and pointed pumps will ultimately contribute heavily toward heel cord contracture, insertional spurs on the back of the heel, toe deformities including bunion and hammer toes; as well as forefoot nerve compression syndromes. Moreover, they can be unstable and subject the wearer to greater risk of ankle sprains and tendon injuries.

Flip-flops on the other hand are comfortable, but non-supportive. They leave the foot largely unprotected against injury. Walking barefoot carries the non-supportive risk to its ultimate, and is particularly dangerous in the diabetic patients with nerve sensibility issues.

Moderation is the key to life, and footwear is no exception.  Fashionable, heeled pumps and casual un-supportive flip flops are all appropriate and good in the right setting, but are not to be worn most of the time.

Remember, whatever the shoe you choose, first and foremost it must fit. Uncomfortable shoes by definition do not fit, and will reliably lead to structural and painful problems with the feet.