If your summer style translates to flip-flops, ballerina flats, and platform wedge sandals, you might find yourself with a foot ailment or two, experts say. Dainty ballerina flats are similar to walking on cardboard, with no arch support whatsoever, reports WebMD. That can add up to a painful foot condition known as plantar fasciitis. If you love the style, try over-the-counter inserts to prevent mild foot pain, the website states. But still, they won’t work miracles, so wearing ballerina flats every day isn’t advised.
Flip-flops are great for schlepping to the beach or wearing at public pools and showers, but when it comes to extensive walking, foot pain experts urge you to put on some real shoes (men, this includes you). They are especially a bad idea for playing sports, hiking trails, or wearing on long urban walks. Unlike sturdy shoes, flip-flops offer no arch support, heel cushioning, or shock absorption, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association. That can result in plantar fasciitis and problems with your knees, hips, and back.
A better option is FitFlops or other “toning shoes,” which are designed for a more intense workout when walking. While the American Council on Exercise says there is no evidence to support the claim, the thicker sole on the shoes may do a better job at keeping your feet protected, and some shoes offer decent arch support.
Other summer shoes that can lead to problems are platform wedge sandals with rigid foot beds, which experts say can upset the biomechanics of walking. Still if you love the look of platform wedges, opt for a flatter style, which may put less strain on your feet, WebMD states.