While choosing a pair of shoes you tend to think about fashion and trends. Your conversation with the salesperson revolves around colours, designs, and styles. But there are more important things that you don’t openly ask. They are mostly the ones concerning your health. Maybe, due to inhibitions and uncertainty about them or because you just lose them in the shuffle of making those habitual buying decisions.
#1 Can you get bunions if you wear stilettos or heels?
Shoes can’t get you bunions. But they can hasten their growth. Also, this is just a possibility and doesn’t stand true for everyone. But wearing stilettos continuously for a long duration can get you red and swollen toes.
Heightened heels, beyond 5cm, can also cause pain (severity may vary from person to person) by overfilling and amassing the bones under the ball of your foot. And this can get worsened as material tissues get thickened over time.
#2 Are flats better than heels?
There’s always this common belief that heels are considered bad for health. Knee and back pain, crooked feet, and constricted blood vessels are some of the common problems that arise when one thinks of heels. However, that need not necessarily be the case. If you choose heels that mould to the curvatures of your feet, those that are of optimal height (5cm), and chunkier heels (for weight distribution and stability), then you may not even experience the problems above.
Same goes for flats, if you choose a faulty design or a cheaply made product, you can get the abovementioned problems just the same.
Regardless as to whether you choose heels or flats, the most important thing is to understand your feet. You need to know what feet type you have, the arch height (i.e flat feet or high arch), and any other feet conditions (i.e bunions, plantar fasciitis etc.). Always have a good understanding of your feet, not just its length for you to pick the right fit for your unique feet.
Apart from understanding your feet, you also need to do a good product-level test. When you go for a shoe trial, test out for its stability, by doing the side-to-side stability test. Stand and try to wobble, if your ankles are wobbling excessively or working hard to maintain stability (the way you wobble when in thin heels), then chances are, the shoes are not good for you. You may likely experience pain in the long run. Always do a walking trial and see if you can walk comfortably in those shoes. After all, shoes are the most important foundation. So, whether you decide to go for heels or flats, it is a matter of preference and best-fit based on your understanding of your feet’s condition.
#3 Are overly structured shoes bad for you?
Yes! Whether you buy heels or flats, avoid going for shoes that are hard or too stiff. Chances are that your toes will get compressed over time. It may lead to medical complications and trigger conditions like pinched nerves or even Bursitis. Wearing shoes that don’t allow for your natural curvatures to relax and have room to breathe may cause swelling of the protective sacs and can be a reason for chronic foot problems and pain. Avoid one if you want to experience great foot health in the long run.
#4 Does wearing shoes without arch support make the feet flat?
There’s no direct proven connection of the type of shoes you wear and developing a certain type of feet. However, age and weight play a major role that can transform the shape of your feet with time. Usually, the feet tend to get wider with age as your arch collapses.
#5 How is the body affected by the shoes you wear?
The shoes you wear have a considerable effect on your body’s posture, comfort, control, and overall wellbeing. If you wear shoes with soft material, and proper toe box space, you get to have a better hold and control of your posture and movement.
If possible, avoid wearing too high a heels (beyond 5cm) as they may usually cause stress to the joints of your knees as well as hips and wearing them frequently, for a longer period can aggravate the pain in those areas.
Alternatively, if you prefer wearing flip-flops instead of proper shoes, it may then shift the body mass backwards and can cause arch pain and Achilles tendon. So, if possible, shuffle your shoes often and wear the ones that you are most comfortable in.
Beyond the questions
These are just some of the common questions that people miss on to ask when shoe-shopping. Next time you buy shoes, look keenly into the factors of health and comfort just as you do for style and trends. Pick shoes you fit in well and feel comfortable walking in. They will go a long way in getting you great foot health and general wellbeing!