Think you’re making the healthy choice choosing flat shoes over sky-high stilettos? Think again.
Sure, wearing towering heels day in, day out, can result in some painful medical conditions, including bunions and joint pain.
“The reason heels are bad is because when you are in any kind of shoe that has elevation or a heel, your weight gets shifted forward to the ball of the foot,” podiatric surgeon Jackie Sutera told SELF magazine.
“The higher the heel, the more weight and pressure get shifted forward. Your knees and hips then have to push forward and your back has to hyperextend backwards to counterbalance.”
However those seemingly innocuous ballet flats might not be much better for you, experts are saying.
Sure, they’re not shifting all your weight like a stiletto does, but they are damaging in other ways.
“There’s no arch support whatsoever,” podiatrist Hillary Brenner told WebMD, adding that this can result in a painful foot condition called plantar fasciitis (it’s a type of tissue damage that will cause your heel to ache).
In fact, Vogue US wrote an article last year after noticing that more and more editors were sporting foot casts due to strains and sprains. The culprit? The ballet flat.
So what’s the optimum shoe?
While you do need to take your foot shape into consideration, a golden rule is to usually plump for a shoe with a one-inch heel.
And a block one at that.
That will offer enough support and stabililty – and make sure the shoe is made out of rigid, flexible material to stop tje foot from rolling.
“Always look for shoes that do up. Anything with buckles, laces, or Velcro straps is likely to offer a reasonable amount of support,” podiatrist Beverley Ashdown told the Daily Mail.
‘Shoes that offer no support, such as flip-flops, ballet pumps and even Ugg-style boots, allow the feet to roll, taking the knees inward with them. This gives an awkward gait, which in turn increases the risk of knee and back pain.”
Luckily androgynous loafers and low leather mules are still on trend for Autumn/Winter – it’s one of the beauties of living in the desert, where there’s little cause for cosy Uggs…