I used to wear heels almost every day, until things like bills and meal prep and burnout became my real life. And while I’ve always known that heels are among the worst shoes for your feet (something to save for very special occasions), apparently there are a few less obvious choices that podiatrists don’t recommend either.
For the sake of your feet, Miguel Cunha, DPM, founder of Gotham Footcare, would like you to stay away from five specific shoe styles. What better way to usher in Sad Girl Fall (is that what we’re calling it?) than with a list of things you can’t have? It’s a mood.
- The worst shoes for your feet, according to a foot doctor
- 1. Slides
- 2. Sock sneakers
- 3. Slingback flats
- 4. Western cowboy boots
- 5. Ankle boots with stilettos
- 8 painful foot problems caused by shoes
- How to find the best shoes for your feet
- If you are experiencing foot or heel pain, possibly from shoes
- Shopping for shoes?
- Final tips
- Long Toes: A Total Guide For Finding Your Perfect Pointe AND Street Shoes
- Greek Type of Foot: Ideas for Not Letting Your Longer Second Toe Hurting You Anymore
The worst shoes for your feet, according to a foot doctor
Dr. Cunha says to avoid slide shoes that are completely flat, because they don’t give your feet any support and can lead to “pronation and collapse of the arch”—which can lead to other bad things like shin splints, knee pain, and back pain. If you do wear a slide, he recommends choosing one with a wedge that’s 3/4-inch tall because it will place less tension on your Achilles heel.
2. Sock sneakers
TBH I am not mad to see sock sneakers make this list, because I am not a fan. Basically, sock sneakers may feel super comfy but, according to Dr. Cunha, “they are not advisable shoes because they provide no support to the top and outside of your foot which can easily lead to an ankle sprain.”
3. Slingback flats
“This shoe is an upgrade from a slide shoe only because it has a sling back that adds some support to the ankle,” Dr. Cunha says. “Shoes with ankle straps help support the shoe on the foot and eliminates the need for your toes to hang onto the shoe thus reducing the development of hammertoes.” Sounds good, right? Wrong. While marginally better than a slide, slingback flats are also, well, flat which can lead to the same arch issues.
4. Western cowboy boots
“This is not the natural shape of the foot so the big toe is going to exacerbate a bunion, cause hammertoes and irritate neuromas,” Dr. Cunha says. You may be thinking, How can I keep my Free People-catalogue aesthetic without my cowboy boots? (No? Just me?) Dr. Cunha says to choose a pair of cowboy boots with a square or wide toe box.
5. Ankle boots with stilettos
“The higher the heel, the shorter strides, which means more pressure is placed on the balls of your feet. This throws off your center of gravity putting unneeded and unnecessary stress on your knees and lower back,” according to Dr. Cunha. (You can also file this under “advice I plan to ignore even though I know I shouldn’t,” a frequent theme of my life.) Ankle boots with chunky heels are fine, though, so long as they aren’t over 1.5 inches.
Apparently we’ve been shopping for shoes all wrong—here are tips from two podiatrists on how to do it right. Then, an expert says these are the best shoes for standing all day.
I realize that people love flashy, high-fashion shoes but as a podiatrist with Westchester Health, I see firsthand the damage they can cause to feet and ankles. As well as exacerbating toe deformities, calluses, corns, bone spurs and other problems, wearing the wrong or too-high shoes puts tendons, joints and entire muscle groups at risk of serious injury.
The main cause of far-reaching joint and tissue damage are high heels. They drastically alter the wearer’s posture, displace the foot and ankle bones, strain the knee joints and tighten the surrounding tendons. This can lead to osteoarthritis, a painful and sometimes debilitating joint condition.
To promote healthy feet and ankles, I offer the following guide to problem shoes to avoid, as well as ways to minimize your risk of injury.
8 painful foot problems caused by shoes
John Viscovich, DPM, MBA, FACFAS
Bone bump (from high heels)
The rigid backs and straps of high heels can irritate the heel, causing a boney enlargement know as Haglund’s deformity or “pump bump.” This can lead to blisters, swelling, bursitis, even pain in the Achilles tendon. Ice, orthotics and heel pads may provide pain relief but the best solution is a change of shoe.
Unnatural foot position (from high heels)
As well as causing the “pump bump,” sky-high heels force the feet into an unnatural position that puts undue stress on the ball of the foot. In this joint, the long metatarsal bones join the small pea-shaped sesamoid bones as well as the toe bones (phalanges). Too much pressure can inflame these bones and/or the nerves that surround them. Chronic stress to the foot bones can even lead to hairline fractures. Switching to lower heels will help avoid problems with the metatarsal bones. The lower the heel (I recommend no more than 2 inches), the more natural the foot position. If you must wear high heels, wear them in moderation.
Ankle sprains (from high heels)
High heels also increase the risk of an ankle sprain. The most common is a lateral sprain which happens when you suddenly roll onto the outside of your foot, stretching the ankle ligaments beyond their normal length. A severe sprain may even tear these ligaments. The risk of developing osteoarthritis also increases with a severe sprain or fracture of the ankle. Over time, ligament and nerve damage in the ankle leads to complications in the legs and back. A sprained ankle should be immobilized immediately and may need physical therapy to heal properly.
Although all high heels can cause problems, the ultra-narrow heels of stilettos are particularly hazardous because your weight is pinpointed all on one area, causing you to wobble as if walking on stilts. This instability can make you much more likely to trip and sprain your ankle. One solution is to switch from stilettos to chunky heels which have more surface area and distribute your weight more evenly, making your feet much more stable. Although thick high heels can still put stress on the ball of your foot, they reduce your risk of tripping by minimizing unsteadiness.
Ballet flats and flip flops
On the opposite end of the spectrum from super-high heels are ballet flats and flip flops, which in terms of your feet are similar to walking on cardboard. They provide no arch support whatsoever which can lead to knee, ankle, hip and back problems. In addition, poor arch support is associated with a painful foot condition called plantar fasciitis. To prevent these problems, consider over-the-counter arch inserts, heel pads for extra cushioning, and custom orthotics to reduce pressure on sensitive areas.
They might be stylish but shoes with pointy toes squeeze the entire front of your foot together. Over time, this can cause nerve pain, bunions, blisters and hammertoes. Some women even develop bruises under their toenails from the constant pressure. Altering your footwear may be the smartest solution.
A bunion is a painful bone protrusion at the base of the big toe which can cause the toe to bend unnaturally. Bunions form when the main bone in the toe joint gets displaced which most often occurs after years of abnormal pressure and movement. Pointy-toed shoes are the most common culprit, which explains the prevalence of bunions among women.
Shoes that are the wrong size
Nine out of ten women wear shoes that are too small, resulting in calluses, blisters, bunions, corns and other foot problems. Also, the constant rubbing of a too-small shoe can irritate the joints in the foot and lead to arthritis. The solution? Buy shoes that are the right size for your feet!
How to find the best shoes for your feet
Treat your feet properly and try to avoid injuring them and they’ll serve you well, all throughout your life. You can start by following these 3 simple tips:
- Choose shoes that bend at the toe box but are not too flexible.
- Make sure there is sufficient arch support.
- Avoid stilettos and instead, choose a wide heel no more than 2 inches high.
If you are experiencing foot or heel pain, possibly from shoes
If you have mild, moderate or severe pain in your feet or heel(s) or are experiencing any other problems with your feet, please call (914) 232-1919 to make an appointment with me at one of my Westchester Health offices. I’ll examine your heels, ankles and feet, evaluate your condition, and together with you, determine the best course of treatment for your specific condition. Whenever, wherever you need us, we’re here for you.
By John Viscovich, DPM, MBA, FACFAS, board certified podiatrist with Westchester Health, member of Northwell Health Physician Partners
What happens when you love shoes but struggle with foot problems? Podiatrist Gina Hild, DPM, shows you which styles are hard (or easy) on your feet. Tap or click on each shoe:
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Shopping for shoes?
Listen to your feet, says Dr. Hild:
- Pass up flimsy flats. Look for flats with built-in arches or enough room for insoles, especially if your arches are high or low.
- Keep shopping if any shoe feels tight around your toes, even a flat or athletic shoe.
- Save those cute flip-flops for the beach. They’re not for daily wear.
- Flat feet? Look for supportive shoes or buy arch supports. “This can sometimes prevent further flattening,” she says.
- Get an expert fit. A qualified shoe expert can measure and fit you with the right shoe (and size) for your foot.
- The kindest shoes: Walking shoes are a treat for the feet. They offer plenty of toe room plus great arch and ankle support.
- The cruelest shoes: Reserve pointy stilettos for special occasions.
“Heels shift your body forward and can lead to low back pain or arthritis,” cautions Dr. Hild. “For height with better support, try wedges.”
Long Toes: A Total Guide For Finding Your Perfect Pointe AND Street Shoes
You may wonder why in our blog there is an article for long feet and another one for long toes. This is because they are two completely different issues ! When referring to long toes, we mean that the toes length is this long, that there is no balance between them and the rest of the foot. That is to say the foot might not be that long, but the toes are so !
If your toes are this long, we think you suffer even when you are trying to buy regular shoes. This is because regular shoes are designed and manufactured for the average toe length. In the picture, both feet are the same length, but the ball of the foot hits a very different place in a shoe. With pointe shoes, it is even more important to find a place to fit these toes in the box (so they won’t be in pain) and to place the shank in the right place so it supports your arch sufficiently.
If someone has very long toes and is a 38 (EU) street shoe size, he/she will maybe bend his/her toes inside the shoe. This happens because a 39 size is bigger than needed, while this person needs a 38 size with special customization for his/her long toes. Exactly tha same happens with the pointe shoes! Dancers with long toes need a pointe shoe in their size with a customization in the vamp of the shoe and not a widest or bigger size. Of course there are pointe shoe models more helpful for this case than others. Let’s see them:
1. “Sapfir” by Russian Pointe. Maybe the best choice for long toes, as this model has a very thick vamp, ideal for this occasion.
2. “Vaganova” by Grishko. One of the oldest Grishko models, which is no longer on the market right now. However, we mention it because of emotional reasons and if you find it somewhere definately try it out!
3. “Maya II” by Grishko. After the discontinuation of “Vaganova”, “Maya II” s the next Grishko’s best suggested model for long toes. In the case of “Vaganova” the sole was glued, while in “Maya II” it’s machine-stitched. The model is very pretty, durable and also comes in its PRO (“quiet”) modification. Its suede upper sole is less slippery than the glued lather one of the “Vaganova’s”. Don’t forget: There are two Maya models, Maya I is a substitute for the Fouette model while Maya II for Vaganova.
4. “Pavlova” by Siberian Swan. One great choice is also a custom-made “Pavlova”. It’s elegant, narrow shape will show off your arches and the longer custom-made vamp will be the perfect match for your long toes. It comes in PRO (“quite”) modification, as all the Siberian Swan models, and you could try out its perfect matte version!
5. “Sylphide” by Casimiro. This model has been designed as a narrow fitting shoe. Its box is a large and soft vamp, straight, with the same size at the upper and the lower side! The parametre of the same width makes it a perfect choice for your long toes!
At this point, we will refer to two different fitting cases concerning long toes, to help you understand better the fitting procedure depending on this issue. Let’s see the first one:
Dana, mom of 4, software analyst and a stunning dancer and ballet teacher with elegant feet and long toes, was a Grishko’s Vaganova lover for many years – as this model is an excellent choice for her feet shape and especially her toes (also fittedbybestpointe, a few years ago). When Vaganovas were discontiniued by the manufacturer, she was so disapponted…
Regarding her measurements (Right foot: 9,5” length, 3,5” width, 5,5” arch, 8,5” girth & Left foot: 9” length, 3,5” width, 5,5” arch, 8,5” girth) we went for a Grishko’s Maya II or a Sapfir by Russian Pointe, but Dana’s toes are too long even for the above models so we started looking for a custom solution for her. So we gave her measurements to the manufacturers of SiberianSwan – and they decided to make a Pavlova of length 7 with a higher vamp, but to keep the rest of the shoe’s anatomy (curves, heel placement etc) like it were a size 6.
This way the Pavlova was based exactly on her needs.
“Thank you Best Pointe Team for my new Siberian Swan’s! I will greatly miss the only pointe shoe my foot ever loved, Grishko Vaganova’s (since I was 16), best shoe ever made! But these fit like a glove after my initial break-in and I look forward to running these through the mud!”.
And the second one:
Adriana used to enjoy her Grishko’ s Nova (8, XX, M) pointe shoes, when she started wondering about something that suits her even better – althought this model by this brand is an interesting choice for such a situation.
Adriana’s european street shoe size is 41-42, so you understand the difficulty of finding shoes generally. She also mentioned that her left foot is a slightly shorter than the right and a tiny bit less flexible, so that make her feel that this foot is less sickled in the pointe shoe. She also wore pads but haven’t tried toe seperators. In the photos we can see her quite strong feet, in tapered shape, greek, very narrow but elegant, with long toes and space between them. This foot type tends to be compressible and to have all kinds of other issues, knuckles, bunions etc. Still, we thought that the only thing she has to do to prevent bunion development is to use separators – they also add stability and volume to the compressible structure.
A possible suggestion would be a Grishko2007 (size 8.5, X, M) – more clasic than the Novas, but still a very good choice for this situation. With long toes like hers, a high vamp is kind of necessary for the support. But, to help herself roll-through, she could v-cut the throat.
Another possible solution (that is now her current pointe shoes!) would be a Russian’s Pointe Sapfir, which has space for long toes (size for her 43, W2, V2, V-Cut, FH). The good thing about Russian Pointe is that someone can also order them higher or lower than the default vamp (V1, V2, V3) and choose its cut (U or V). In her case, we suggested the medium or the longest vamp and the V-cut, also to start with a FlexibleHard shank.
TIP : For more protection and support for your long toes you can also use our Silicone Pads Prestige and the Big Toe Spreader. Feel also free to fill out our questionnaire if you need our opinion about your own pointe shoe sizing and models and let’s get fitted! 01 july 2019, 13:08 Views: 1148 Comments: 0 Blog
What is your foot type?
You must have already noticed sometimes the differences between people’s feet, not only regarding shape or size, but also the way in which they lay on the ground and, as consequence, the walk. And, did you know that this is very important at the time of choosing a pair of shoes? Since feet what are support us throughout the day, takes us from one place to another, the best thing to do is to choose a pair of shoes that not only feel comfortable, but also have the suitable features for our type of foot.
At EscapeShoes, we want you that, as you choose your shoes, you do it as you think of your wellbeing, and so, on today’s post, we’ll go deeper into the world of feet, by talking about the categories that the foot as regarding the shape and the support, and which could be the appropriate shoes for each one.
SHAPE – There’s a usually well-known category about the feet’s shape, which is about the length of the toes. There are four types of feet: Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Celtic and Germanic.
The Greek foot’s characteristic due to the pointy shape, like a rooftop, which the toes forms due to the fact that the second toe is longer than the rest, and the length of the others decreases as they go towards the side of the foot.
This type of foot, also known as Morton’s toe, by the surgeon that described it for the very first time, is thus called since Greek art used it many times, since it’s considered a sign of beauty. Some say that who has Greek feet have the perfect feet, but careful! When choosing shoes, these people have to pay attention to the size, since the right length is in this case set by the second toe, the longest. If this isn’t taken into consideration, the longest toe will always be pressured against the toecap of the shoe, which is not only uncomfortable, but can also cause true inconveniences at long term. It’s also important to choose shoes that hold the foot well and helps to correct the posture as you walk, since the placing of the toes favours unstable walks and back pains.
This type of foot, very rare, is characterized for having the big and the second (sometimes even third) toes with the same length, and a rectangular shape.
If you’ve this type of feet, look for shoes with a wide shape, enough so that all your toes have room and don’t stay pressured against each other. This way, you’ll keep your feet from deforming and prevent the appearance of antiaesthetic calluses.
It’s the most common foot shape, since more than 50% of the Europeans have it, in which the toes keep a diagonal like, decreasing from the longest to the shortest.
If your feet are Egyptian, you’re in luck! The majority of shoes are adapted to this type of foot, so when you’re looking for the ideal shoes you have to pay closer attention to the shape of the arch of the foot and your walk, but you’ll be able to wear shoes with narrower toecaps with no problems, always and whenever as you don’t have any bunions or calluses.
The Celtic foot’s the one in which the toes have different lengths that don’t follow an order. The second toe’s usually the longest, so the size should be chosen according to this toe. The small toe in this case isn’t the smallest, being slightly longer than the forth toe. The foot has a very rectangular shape, so it’s best to avoid pointy or more fitted shoes that pressure the toes. Rounded toecaps that respect the shape of the longest toes are recommended.
This foot’s characterized for having completely straight toes, with the same length, except the big toe, which is longer. In the same way as the Celtic and Roman feet, it has a rectangular shape, so it’s best to choose wide shoes so that the toes don’t clutter and don’t have any scratches or calluses.
SUPPORT – In addition of the length and placing of the toes, very important when choosing the width and the shape of the shoe’s toecap, it’s recommended to take into account the shape of the arch of the foot, since it determines the type of support, which is directly connected with the walk. The feet’s type of support is the result of several factors, among which is the weight distribution. There are three types of feet regarding support: normal, flat and supinated.
- Normal Foot
It’s the one in which the support is divided along the foot on the toes, exterior of the sole and heel, in order to have more cushioning and the weights are distributed in a balanced manner. The arch of the foot has a medium height and the ankle is perpendicular to the ground. It’s the ideal type of foot.
- Supinated Foot
This type of foot’s the one that suffers bad distribution of the body’s weight. The support is bigger on the external area of the foot, but especially on the heel and anterior area of the toes. It’s common that in this type of foot there are hardness and that the toes have a shrunken shape. A wide-shaped shoe is the most appropriate for your supinated feet and if it holds the ankle area well, even better.
- Flat Foot
It’s the opposite of the supinated foot. In this case, it’s the foot’s internal area that receives more support. The ankle isn’t in a vertical position, which increases the possibilities of suffering pain or lesions. For these feet, the best of all is a shoe that corrects the posture of the ankle and that provides good security. And thick and resistant soles are recommended, since the people that have flat feet usually wear them out a lot on the inside.
Do you already know how your feet are? Did you take this into account when you’re buying shoes? Now you’ll have more resources at the time of choosing comfortable shoes, which helps you to keep your feet’s health. If you want to learn more about your feet, you can consult the Wikipedia’s page, and more about how to choose your shoes on the California Podiatric Medical Association webpage.
Tell us your experience! We want to know if you already have the perfect shoes for your feet. If not, visit EscapeShoes, and find the shoes of your life!
The keys of comfort in your shoes being heels height, shoe stability, stretch of material, foothold and the match between the shoe shape and your feet shape, the choice of your shoes’ design is a very important step….
” Greek feet ” have a second toe longer than the big toe and then toes decrease in length in stair-step formation, which creates an almost inverted “U” shape at the front of the foot. If you have a Greek feet shape, the slender round (“Pointy Round”) closed toe shape or the Open toe U shape could be the best:
* The ” Slender round (“Pointy Round”) Closed shape is a great option as it follows the natural inverted “U” shape of your feet.
* As for the Open toe options, selecting a “ U-Shape” (narrow peep toe) for your Sandals or Pumps will give you the peep toe look while preventing your longer toe from popping out while maintaining better your feet.
* If you have popping out bones or sensitive feet parts, choose a design that fully covers it: having the shoe edge resting on it may be painful. A “Heart cut” (“V” shaped cleavage) or the “Butterfly” shape might be the best options. Also select a soft material for better comfort.
* If you have a thinner than usual feet, better select a Closed toe option as it will prevent it from sliding forward
* If you have larger than usual feet, better select Sandals designs with soft materials for better stretch.
Go to the Heels and Materials Details page >>
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Greek Type of Foot: Ideas for Not Letting Your Longer Second Toe Hurting You Anymore
Is the picture of a foot’s longer second toe a familiar one to you ? Well, a very common pointe shoe fitting issue between the ballerinas is the longer second toe of their feet. This factor determines the type of the foot, which in this case is called greek (other two are egyptian and roman).
Greek type of foot, regardless of the elegance of the usually narrow shape of the feet, used to accumulate almost all the problems someone can have on his/her feet – bunions, knuckles, space between the toes, compressible feet. As we ‘ve already mentioned in the long and narrow feet with long toes, because of their narrow and long shape, the toes tend to bend inside the pointe shoe (even in the street shoe) and this leads to an altered shape of the foot. For this reason, also, the feet are not able to accomplish the basic target of the pointe shoe, which is to roll correctly from demi onto full pointe and stay there. So, this happens because there is space between the big (first) and the second toe, the second one is longer and finally the toes don’t have the appropriate small space they need inside the shoe, but they bend and step incorrectly.
In this case, there are some models of pointe shoes that could help your feet move better and, of course, – the significant part – won’t hurt you that much. Let’s find out the most useful tapered models by brand:
1. Grishko : Grishko2007.
2. Russian Pointe : Rubin.
3. Gaynor Minden : a pointe shoe model with box size 2 or 3.
There are also some choices less suitable, but still helpful:
1. Freed: Studio.
2. Suffolk Captivate.
3. Siberian Swan : Pavlova.
4. Grishko : Vaganova & Maya II.
5. Russian Pointe : Sapfir.
Despite the right pair of pointe shoes, there is a chance someone’s second toe to be very long. Unfortunately, there are not many things we can do, but we will of course recount you the DIY solutions we have found, concerning basically the padding. Nowadays, there are many companies and brands (Techdance, Bunheads etc) that produce only padding products for each problem you may have with your feet and pointe shoes. Let’s find them out:
1. Soft silicone pads: We can put pads from solf silicone inside the box to help our toes (and especially the longer one) to “sink” into the pad, to cover the extra space and protect our longer toe.
2. Toe protector: There is a small black padding protector we can use to put our longer toe inside it, to fill the extra space inside the shoe.
3. Wool: We also can use wool as a protector and space filling. The best thing with wool is that it is so soft we can shape it the way we want!
4. Toe spreader/seperator: Toe spreaders are used for filling the extra space between the first and second toe, mostly when there is a longer second toe and the feet are compressible and/or have bunions. In this case the toe seperator will function as a life(toe)-saver, as it will help our toes to get the correct shape.