The Dangers of Your Favorite Footwear - Triad Foot Center

Shoe Showdown: The Dangers of Your Favorite Footwear

It seems like no matter what your shoe choice is, foot pain and the threat of developing painful medical conditions like bunions, hammer toes and plantar fasciitis is always a possibility. Many types of shoes pose a threat to your foot health. However, by taking the proper precautions and understanding the risks, you can certainly wear your favorite styles in moderation.

Here is a breakdown of your favorite footwear and what they’re actually doing to your feet:

Patent Black High Heels

High Heels

High heels cause your knees and hips to shift forward, which causes additional strain on your back and legs. They also shift your weight onto the balls of your feet, increasing pressure on your foot.

Potential risks: Hyper-extension, mid-foot fractures, ankle sprains, neuromas, pinched nerves, hammer toes and bunions.




Like high heels, wedges force your body weight forward. But wedges typically have more cushioning and have less of an incline, helping with balance and protection of the ball of the foot. However, wedges with platform soles may still have you teetering on the edge of a painful ankle sprain.

Potential risks: Hyper-extension, mid-foot fractures, ankle sprains, neuromas, pinched nerves, hammer toes and bunions.



High Heel Boots

Because of the heel, boots pose the same threats as high heels. But the structure of the boot around your ankle helps increase stability and reduces injuries like ankle sprains. Pointy-toed boots, however, can compress the toes.

Potential risks: Hyper-extension, hammer toes and bunions.


Female boots   on a high heel

Thigh High Boots

Like heeled boots, thigh high boots pose the same dangers if they have a high heel. Make sure the boot doesn’t hug your calf too tightly, as this can decrease circulation, especially when sitting. Those with neuropathy are especially at risk.

Potential risks: Hyper-extension, mid-foot fractures, neuromas, pinched nerves, hammer toes and bunions.



Ballet Flats

Lack of support, lack of shock absorption and cushioning are the biggest downfall of ballet flats. If you aren’t used to walking in flats, this can cause some calf pain and the arches of the foot to become over-stretched.

Potential risks: Heel pain, tendonitis, inflammation, strains, stress fractures and external injuries.


high top sneakers

Converse-Style Sneakers

This style of sneaker is flat like ballet flats, but they have a thicker sole which provides added shock absorption and cushioning.  Orthotics are recommended to add arch support that is otherwise lacking.

Potential risks: Heel pain, tendonitis, inflammation, strains, and stress fractures.


Lightweight running shoes

Running Sneakers

Running sneakers are not meant for everyday use. Because of the immense amount of cushion, you don’t properly feel the ground and are not receiving foot-brain feedback.

Potential risks: Chronic stress injuries to the heel.



Flip Flops

Flip flops are riddled with potential hazards. From the lack of protection and support to increased exposure to bacteria, flops flops shouldn’t be your first choice of footwear.

Potential risks: Heel pain, tendonitis, inflammation, strains, fractures and external injuries.


iStock_000006653051_LargeRain Boots

Rain boots are great for keeping your feet dry during wet weather, but the latex and other materials used to make the boots are not breathable. This creates a moist environment that may make you uncomfortable and promote bacteria and fungus growth.

Potential risks: fungus, mold, bacteria, wart viruses and blisters.


For more information about keeping your feet healthy or to make an appointment with one of the podiatrists at the Triad Foot Center, call any of our three locations in the Triad, or click here to request an appointment.

Disclaimer: The information and other content provided in our blogs, videos, or in any other content or linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. For a full disclaimer, please click here.