Many people develop ankle or foot problems from neglect, badly-fitted footwear, or simple wear and tear. Maybe it is time to change your shoes. If you have foot pain from bad shoes or have developed calluses, blisters, bruised toenails, sore ankles even after taking short jolts, perhaps you can change shoes.
Find out what type of pain your shoes are inflicting on your feet, and how to pick the right shoes next time you go shoe shopping.
Flip-Flops and Sandals: Plantar Fasciitis
Flip-flops and sandals offer much more freedom than sneakers and covered shoes, but they do not give your feet much-needed support. This means foot pain. They may even lead to foot disorders such as plantar fasciitis, tendon problems, and ankle sprains, according to podiatrists. Sandals should have a comfortable footbed, and be biomechanically designed to cradle your foot and prevent pain.
High Heels: Stretched Achilles Tendon
Women’s stilettos may look great, but they are also a big pain in your Achilles heel! High heels also put immense pressure on the ball of the foot, and their narrow design gives bunions, calluses and other foot problems. If you wear high heels all day, it shortens your Achilles tendon which connects the calf muscle to the bone. Once you are home and remove the shoe, the tendon stretches, and you feel pain walking barefoot or in flats.
Ballet Flats: Foot Pain
Ballet flats look deceivingly comfortable. But they virtually do nothing to support your feet. With no arch support and insufficient insole padding, you may just as well be wearing a very thick sock!
Platform Shoes: Ankle Instability
Platform shoes are a safer way to add height than high heels. Though they put less pressure on your forefoot, platform heels make you unstable while walking. So, you may fall and sprain your ankle.
Worn-Out Sneakers: No Shock Absorption
If you are still using your sneakers from college, they probably should be thrown out. Old shoes can heighten any existing foot pain. Athletic shoes or sports footwear are meant to last only a limited number of miles, after which their insoles bottom out providing little shock absorption and arch support.
Comfy Boots: Fungus Build-Up in Summer
If you wear your comfy winter boots without socks, you are putting your foot health in danger. Leather and sheepskin are breathable, but the warm and humid Indian weather is a super breeding ground for fungus, and fungi love nesting in warm, moist feet! If you plan a long walk or a day out, then leave the stylish boots behind. Always protect your feet with cotton socks and wear boots in dry weather.
Thigh-High Boots: Nerve Damage
Like stilettos, thigh-high boots with high heels can cause similar foot pain. Plus if they are too tight, they will put pressure on the peroneal and saphenous nerves in the knee.
So what shoes should you wear?
Foot pain is a condition that is largely preventable. Wearing the right shoes, you can prevent foot problems altogether.
- Flat shoes should be stable like sneakers with sturdy soles for good support
- Stick to mid-height heels
- If you love high heels, don’t walk far in them or wear them for long periods
- Avoid shoes that are too heavy
- Avoid shoes that make you feel off-balance
- Make sure your shoes fit in the store itself
- Avoid shoes that are too tight or too loose or ones that pinch anywhere, whether they pinch at the toes or the top of your knee-highs.