After a long day on 8-inch killer heels you swear you will never go back to high heels and will buy only ballerina flats from now on. Well, as hard as it is to accept this: flats are actually bad for your health and not in a “1-in-a-million” kind a way, but in a very real, harsh reality which might easily come true if you stick to wrong kind of flats.
Why is it that ballerina flats are actually bad for your feet?
The worst thing you could ever do for your feet is not wearing sky-high stilettos all day long but wearing unsupported flats. Yes, they might look cute and are definitely super comfy, but that’s where their benefits end since rather surprisingly, high heels are not the root of all feet pain problems. Quite contrary, ballet flats are most common reason why women experience severe pains in knees, back, hips etc.
The problem lies in their support. Most ballet flats and flip flops are really as flat as they can come and have no arch in the heel part, which means all of the body weight is distributed on the heel. The worst case scenario this might bring is developing a condition called plantar fasciitis – a situation where the ligaments of your feet are overstretching and as a result, can even tear. Sounds pretty scary, doesn’t it?
Ballerina flats can look cute and seem like the best friend for a long day at work, but without decent arch support or cushioning, they cause the feet muscles to work much harder in order to distribute your body weight decently and not cause any stress on the heel.
Another pretty scary scenario is the possibility of simply injuring yourself by stepping on something sharp and piercing – pavement pebbles, nails, spikes, whatever. Besides just being extremely uncomfortable when walking on rubble, you have a high chance of stepping on something sharp that can go through the sole of your shoe and hurt your leg. With those sexy killer high stilettos that’s not really a possibility, is it?
In the end, it all comes down to moderation as there is no shoe that is 100% safe and ensures no worries while wearing them.
All shoe types can be broken down with the following little risk-factors:
- Stilettos – When too high, they can shift your balance (and make you fall rather easily), cause sprains and hurt your knees and back by causing too much tention.
- Wedges – Wedges are like stilettos’ friendly neighbor – they can also have a very high heel, but thanks to the support cushion, they are much healthier. However, don’t think they are completely safe: most wedges have a very narrow shape, especially on the toe area. Pressing your foot in such shoe can cause neuromas, pinched nerves, hammertoes and several other harsh conditions.
- High heel booties – These are pretty similar to stilettos, the only difference being more balance and support thanks to the ankle part which keeps the foot steadily on one place. Booties are likely the friendliest of the high-heel bunch, but can also cause some bunions or hammertoes, depending on the shape and fit of the shoe.
- Thigh high boots – There is almost nothing sexier during the winter than wearing thigh-highs, especially with a sharp high heel. Similarly to stilettos, they can cause stress on the nerves because of the heel. Fortunately, thanks to the long supportive leg material, they are a little safer, especially if you go for a wider cut that doesn’t press your toes together harshly.
- Ballerina flats – As already mentioned, unsupported ballet flats can cause strains, fractures, inflammation and even worse: they don’t protect you from external injuries so in case you should step on a sharper object, it’s very likely you will injure yourself.
- Flat sneakers – Converse-type sneakers are probably one of the safest shoes for a flat lover as their thick rubber sole gives somewhat of a cushion and protects from external injuries as well. However, wearing such sneakers for too long can easily cause inflammation, strains and heel pain, despite the soft stretchy material. No support = risk.
- Running trainers – Seems that running shoes are the safest ones out there, right? Well, they are not. The thing is, thick cushion can actually distress the leg as you can’t feel the ground that well and therefore, stress injuries are easy to arise. Running shoes are not for everyday errands as you don’t want your feet-memory to go on a fish-level and forget sensing the ground.
- Flip flops – There are more problems than you could imagine: too flat, too thin, too opened – there is no support and no protection. As there is no support what-so-ever, your feet are constantly in stress trying to “grab” the shoe. This can lead to severe heel or back pain, strains, external injuries and multiple other problems. Keep them strictly for the beach!
- Rainboots – Rainboots seem like the most likely shoes to have any worries since they are well supported. However, the problem lies in their material. Strong thick rubber doesn’t let your feet to breath and therefore, they are likely to cause the bacteria to spread.
One thing is for sure: always go for a shoe with decent cushioning. If you love flats, then you shouldn’t shy away from those either but simply choose one with just a tiny heel part or buy additional cushions for the insoles. The best solution is to wear any types of shoes moderately and let your feet rest as much as possible. They are born to be free so let them have the freedom they deserve and don’t hide them away 24/7 to a tight shoe! Your legs will thank you!