The Unhealthiest Shoe Styles

unhealthy shoes

Shoes, shoes shoes. They are the fetish and obsession of many women. The shoes we wear are actually central to our everyday health. Poorly designed shoes, or footwear that doesn’t fit properly, can cause a number of short and long-term health problems that affect various parts of our bodies The three main functions of shoes are to protect our feet, enable us to walk wherever we want and provide comfort when we are on our feet for long periods of time. Correctly fitting footwear should have little or no negative impact on our health. Unfortunately, many of the popular and most sought after styles are also some of the worst for your feet. The ones that are good for you feet are usually overlooked for more stylish pairs.

Here are some of the worst culprits. See how many of these you have in your closet and what price you are paying or will have to pay to wear them.

Flip Flops

flip flop shoes

Cheap and cute but one of the worst shoe designs out there. Among the most common flip-flop injuries is plantar faciitis, which is an inflammation of the connective tissue along the bottom of the foot. This acute pain can become a chronic problem over time.Walking in flip flops encourages an unnatural gait which can lead to pain in the feet, legs and lower back. The openness of the shoe can also lead to contracting bacterial infections. A 2009 report from the TODAY show and the University of Miami found that flip flops were home to more than 18,000 types of bacteria, including Staphyloccus aureus and even bacteria from fecal matter

Ballet Flats

ballet flats

Many people think that wearing flats avoids having foot issues but that isn’t true. Ballet flats may feel comfortable but they are lacking any arch support for your foot which could ultimately lead to foot pain issues. Ballet flats also have very little padding in the insole, which means they are essentially like wearing a very thick sock,

Sheepskin Boots


Slipper-type boots with the sheepskin lining, like Uggs, are stylish and popular for their comfort but they can present several threats to foot health. Because they are so comfortable many people wear them all day which isn’t what they are meant for. They are meant to be a lounging shoe so do not have the proper support necessary for doing lots of walking or standing. In addition many people wear them without socks which could lead to a build-up of fungus in the humid environment.



Slides don’t offer the foot very much support and there is nothing attaching them to the back of your foot. They pose the risk of instability or missteps leading to possible foot injury. Adding any heel increases the possibility of ankle injuries.

High Heel Stiletto Mules/Shoes

stiletto mule shoes

Ultra-high heels can lead to everything from ankle sprains to chronic pain. Ultra-high heels force the feet into a position that puts stress on the ball of the foot which can inflame the surrounding bones or nerves. Chronic stress to the foot bones can even lead to hairline fractures. Mules are even worse because they don’t offer any support to the heel and it could literally slide off the shoe.

Pointy Shoes

pointy stiletto heels

They might be stylish, but shoes with pointy toes squeeze the entire front of your foot together which over time can lead to nerve pain, bunions, blisters, and hammertoes. Some women even develop bruises under their toenails from the constant pressure. You can avoid the pointy toe issues by selecting boxier shoes. If that style doesn’t appeal to you at least look for shoes that slope to a point beyond the edge of your toes

Platform Shoes


The issue with platform shoes and wedges is that they tend to have rigid foot beds which throws off the biomechanics of walking. The rigidness will fight against your foot while walking and change your gait.

Tips for Choosing Healthy Shoes

Always choose a chunkier heel over a skinnier one for more stability 

Choose shoes with more room in the toe area and preferably round or boxy styles

Select shoes that have straps or material to secure the shoe to your foot

Select shoes with sufficient arch support built into the shoe or wear an orthotic insert

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