Keeping Your Feet Happy: Shoes To Avoid

High heels are not the best footwear choice.

In addition to an increased risk of tripping or twisting an ankle, prolonged wearing can cause knee joint damage and increase the risk of osteoarthritis. The angle of a foot's position in a high heel is awkward and places unnatural pressure on knee joints that can wear away cartilage.

But high heels are not the only footwear choice that can bring on foot problems:

Slipper-Style Boots

Many of us wear our Ugg-style boots all day long, even in warm and dry weather. But if these slipper-style boots get worn out, they can force us into a careless, shuffling walking style that can affect our body, knees, back and even shoulders and neck. When wet they can take a long time to completely dry out, conditions that can lead to an athlete's foot infection. Enjoy your slipper boots in moderation and, when sweaty or wet, leave them to dry for a day or more and wear alternate shoes.


Walking in flip-flops feels great and freeing, but wearing them for long periods or while walking long distances can easily overtire the feet and cause tendon problems. Because your toes must work so hard to keep them on, flip-flops can cause the stiffness and pain of hammertoes, a deformity that may require surgery to correct. Limit wearing flip-flops to poolside and the beach and choose sturdy, strappier sandals for everyday wear.

Ballet Flats

These dainty shoes have no arch support at all so the feet don't function optimally. This scenario can lead to heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis as well as knee, hip and back problems. Custom-fitted orthotics can add the right support and help redistribute pressure for more comfort.


Slip-on shoes, sometimes called slides, may not be the best choice for anyone with bunions or other foot deformities. These shoes that are often very narrow, pinching the toes, can worsen these types of conditions quickly. Tight shoes don't cause bunions, which are usually genetic or caused by arthritis, but narrow shoes can make them worse. Those who are susceptible to dry and cracked heels should also avoid open-backed shoes.

More About High Heels

Enjoy your stylish heels sparingly. Even mid-height heels can cause a pump bump, also called Haglund's deformity, which can lead to arthritis and even Achilles tendon pain. Chronic stress of the foot and toe bones from unnatural pressure can lead to nerve problems and even stress fractures. Select shoes with heels that are 2" or lower, and wear these in moderation.

We Can Help Relieve Foot and Ankle Pain

Dr. James M. McKee, DPM, board certified podiatrist at the Podiatry Group of Annapolis, P.A. has extensive experience with all types of foot or ankle conditions and problems. Please call us at 410-224-4448 to make an appointment at our office in Annapolis, MD. You can also request an appointment at the website. Keep your feet happy with good, comfortable and sturdy shoe choices!