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Flat Shoes Can Cause Foot Problems for Women

We’ve written before about the problems associated with wearing high heels for long periods (see our blog on the risks of wearing high heels).

But switching from high heels to just any type of flat shoe may not be the right solution. Some types of flats potentially can cause foot health problems.

Flat Shoes May Cause Many Foot and Toe Problems

  • Wearing tight shoes with pointy toes – even with flat heels – puts too much pressure on toenails. This can cause the nails to bend and become ingrown into surrounding tissue. Ingrown toenails can also be hereditary and may be caused by improper nail trimming, fungal infections and trauma. Make sure that flat shoes have plenty of wiggle room for the toes. Chronic ingrown toenails should be evaluated and treated by a qualified foot doctor.
  • Heel pain caused by wearing flat, non-supportive shoes may be plantar fasciitis, or inflammation of the plantar fascia. This thick tissue runs along the bottom of the foot from the heel bone to the toes. Wearing flat, unsupportive shoes like ballet slippers and flip flops may also cause the arches to drop and tendons and ligaments to overstretch or even tear. If you wear flat shoes, make sure they have sturdy soles with adequate support.
  • Walking with flat shoes that have thin, unsupportive soles causes excessive pressure on your heel bones. This can lead to blisters on your Achilles tendon when the back of the shoe rubs repeatedly against your heel. Surprisingly, this problem often results from a lack of sole support. Choose low-heeled or block-heeled shoes instead of those that are completely flat. Shoes with sturdy, thick heels that are not too high may be better for your foot health than shoes that are completely flat.

You Can Wear Flats and Be Comfortable

If fatigue and pain from wearing flimsy, flat shoes persists, please call Stavros O. Alexopoulos, DPM for an examination. We’ll address any problems we see and discuss appropriate footwear. Custom-fitted orthotics that are made just for you can help make flat shoes more comfortable and healthy for your feet.

Limiting the time that you wear flat shoes, just as you should limit your time in high heels, can allow you to wear your favorite slipper shoes in comfort.

Let Us Help with Any Foot or Ankle Pain

Dr. Alexopoulos, board certified podiatrist can help with any foot-related pain or problem, from recommending the right shoe to addressing chronic foot and ankle pain. Many treatments and surgeries can be addressed right here in our office. Please call our Chicago office at (773) 561-8100 or request an appointment via the website. Call us today to wear your fashionable flats in comfort!