The saying goes: “The shoes make the outfit.” But can shoes actually harm our bodies? Those in the field of podiatry say yes. According to the American Osteopathic Association, one in 10 women wear high heels at least three days a week, leading to foot problems and significant damage with prolonged use.
When it comes to orthopedics, doctors stress proper footwear is a must. With extended use, shoes that keep your feet in unnatural positions, such as high heels, can lead to a shortening of the tendons in the calf, as well as nerve damage. These shoes also place your body in an unnatural posture, forcing strain on the knees, hips, and lower back. However, the demands of fashion leave many women no choice but to take the risk. Let’s look at the top 5 shoes that are podiatry nightmares:
Heels Over Three Inches
Heels that are this high place your feet into an extremely unnatural position, placing all of your body weight on the balls of your feet. They really should only be worn for a few hours at most, as long-term effects can include hypertension, pinched nerves, and even foot fractures.
Even if these shoes aren't impossibly tall, they should always be able to bend at the toes. Without this give and take, feet are put under a greater amount of strain. These types of shoes can result in bunions, nerve damage, and even benign nerve tumors.
High Heel Booties/Thigh High Boots
Whether the top is tall or short, these heels still put your feet at risk. Stiletto-type heels place your body in unnatural positions, and leave you at risk for everything from hammer toes to knee and lower back problems.
Believe it or not, the opposite extreme can also be harmful to your feet. Ballet flats do not provide the level of arch support or cushioning your feet need, and also leave your feet open to damage from foreign objects, such as stepping on a nail.
Flip-flops can also be problematic for similar reasons. For people with flat feet, their lack of arch support can be especially troublesome. Ill-fitting shoes that allow the toes to hang over the side can also lead to toe fractures. According to those in the field of orthopedics, this type of shoe can lead to tendinitis, inflammation, heel pain, strains, and fractures.