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Tell me what footwear you use and I will tell you how it affects your feet


"Better dead than simple" or "fashion that does not bother" are some of the popular sayings that justify the use of inappropriate footwear in many cases. Undoubtedly, the model that receives the worst criticism is high-heeled shoes, but they are not the only ones that can cause injuries to both the feet and the hips, the back, and even the neck. In fact, shoes that are classified as comfortable a priori can be harmful if they are used continuously.

Here are some types of footwear and the effects they can have on our feet.

Heeled Shoes

When you wear high heels, you are abruptly changing the natural foot support. Barefoot, the front part of it, the metatarsus, supports 43% of the body weight, while the rear part, the remaining 57%. These percentages vary as the size of the heel increases. The maximum to avoid ailments would be a heel of 4 centimeters. In this case, the body weight is distributed 57% on the front of the foot and 43% on the back. With six centimeters, it goes to 75% - 25% and with a heel of 10 centimeters or more, the front part supports between 90 and 100% of the weight. In fact, experts consider that shoes with heels above eight centimeters are not recommended.

The consequences are multiple, even more so if the shoe, in addition to a high heel, has a narrow toe, in the style of those known as 'stilettos'. The most common is severe pain known as metatarsalgia or Morton's neuroma. It is a nerve entrapment that is located between the third and fourth fingers, although it can also appear in the others, mainly because the fingers remain continuously compressed, which causes nerve degeneration.

High heels can also cause other foot injuries such as claw toes, hammer toes, bunions, as well as affect the ankles since poor weight distribution increases the risk of spraining up to three times. But the calves also suffer, since to counteract the forward movement the legs contract automatically, which translates into discomfort and even contractures in this area, as well as the knees, hips and back, since the use of the heel alters the body posture and also the way of walking: slower and with shorter steps.

Tell me what shoes you wear and I'll tell you how affects your feet

Without leaving aside how it affects the circulatory system of the legs causing pain, swelling and favoring the appearance of varicose veins.

Flat shoes: flats type

Far from what it might seem, completely flat shoes, such as flats or ballerinas so common in the halftime season, are not recommended. As they have such a thin sole, they do not protect from the imperfections of the terrain or cushion the step, so the foot absorbs impacts against the ground directly. They usually cause injuries such as plantar fasciitis or inflammation of the arcuate ligament of the foot; pain in the heels, ankles and calves due to muscle overload, which leads to cramps, muscle pain and contractures and Achilles tendonitis, hardness.

The ideal thing to avoid these problems is for the shoe to have a heel of at least two centimeters, with a ceiling of four. In addition, the buttress must be padded to avoid rubbing on the heel.


Sandals and flip flops

The function of footwear is to protect and stabilize the foot. The sandals and flip flops so typical of summer do not achieve this function. The consequences that its continued use can have are similar to those of flat shoes, with the addition that they do not usually respect the natural curvature of the sole of the foot; they protect less from possible cuts, fingers and broken nails, even sunburn, and have less support, which means that those who wear them tend to wrinkle and tense their fingers to hold the shoe to the ground, with the consequent deformation that can result; not to mention the hardness that can appear on the inner edge of the big toe.

Experts also warn that they can alter the way you walk due to the previously mentioned tendency to crinkle and tense the fingers for a better grip and due to the position in which the heel remains, fully raised. The pressure of the toes adds stress to the ankle area and to the foot in general, the steps are shortened and the heels hit the ground irregularly.

Canvas sneakers

Outwardly, they are comfortable. They are similar to the sports ones, but they keep differences with them. The most obvious has to do with the sole, which does not provide adequate shock absorption or cushioning, which can cause inflammation, tendinitis and heel pain. This last ailment is also due to the fact that they do not usually have an insole that adapts to the natural arch of the foot (they are flat), which causes pain, even problems when walking, if they are used regularly.

If you are looking for comfort with a casual style, it is better to opt for your own sports shoes for running or 'skechers' type, although without abusing them.

Birkenstock' (original German brand) have a higher front than the rest, so heel pain and plantar fasciitis are probable.

Crocs-style clogs

They are comfortable, but not for all-day or continuous use. They are appropriate to go to the beach, the pool or to be at home. The opposite can lead to tendinopathies, bunions and, above all, problems in walking posture. The reasons: the back is open, which reduces support, they are not very flexible, and above all, the width in the last. In addition, it must be added that the original crocs are made with closed-cell resin, but the counterfeit ones are usually made of rubber or plastic, so they hinder perspiration.


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