There are two types of shoe shoppers. The first goes into the store grabs the same pair they buy every time and leaves. The second goes in, looks around, tries some shoes on, looks around some more, and then buys $300 worth of shoes.
I am very much the first type of person, and while both of these people are portrayed hyperbolically, the real question is are either of these people paying attention to what matters most in a shoe.
Person number one is simply going for what they know and like. Person number two is definitely looking with more detail, but in my experience, they are looking at style more than anything else.
The wrong shoes can provide a lot of foot and ankle problems. It is important to know what to avoid in a shoe, aside from if it is stylish or not.
I don’t think anyone has ever put on a shoe, felt their toes squished down at the end and thought, “I’m going with these ones!” It is a pretty obvious no go. Though we may not do that, many people wear shoes that their feet have outgrown. Pointed toe shoes and high-heels are huge culprits in causing hammertoes.
Crammed toes at the end of the shoe can cause a condition called a hammertoe. A hammertoe is when your toe arches unnaturally in the middle. Your foot and the tip of your toe would be flat on the ground, but the middle of the toe would be permanently arched. It can be very painful and often requires surgical intervention.
Lack of Support
You may have a pair of shoes that feels so comfortable when you first try them on, only to later develop pain in your feet. Many shoes, like flats and flip-flops, do not provide adequate support for your feet, especially the arches in your feet.
At first, you might feel discomfort in your arch, and heel pain. Over time, the stress can cause inflammation of the plantar fascia, or plantar fasciitis, which is the tissue on the bottom of your foot. It is painful to walk with such a condition and should be treated by a medical professional.
One aspect of shoes that has become more popular in the past few years is the flexibility of the shoe. It may look cool to watch how the shoe is able to bend, but it isn’t cool to your feet.
If a shoe easily bends, it likely doesn’t provide enough support for your feet. This can cause some of the same problems as noted above. A shoe can have some flexibility, but it also needs to remain firm enough to prevent injury. If you can see the shoe not staying firm enough to prevent you from rolling your ankle, it may be worth it to pass it up.
Pressure on Forefoot
Some shoes put a lot of pressure on the front of your foot. This is uncomfortable and can cause issues with your toes. Again, heels are the main culprit here, sorry ladies.
The other big issue with shoes like this is that it can stretch your Achilles tendon. This can lead to discomfort, pain, or if weakened enough it can rupture. Heels may look great but can really hurt your feet, short term and long term.
There are many things that can cause your feet pain or injury. Being active, holes in the ground, the can of peas you dropped on your toes, and so many other things. Don’t let your shoes, the items that are sworn to protect your feet, be the thing that causes problems.