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Points about shoes

Legs with a sneaker on one foot and a high-heeled shoe on the other

You may love the sleek look of a high heel or pointy toe. But it’s a good idea to avoid those or at least save them for special occasions. Otherwise, your feet, ankles, knees, and back could face problems.

For example, wearing high heels a lot can cause unhealthy changes in the muscles of your legs and change the way you walk. They can also cause foot pain and problems with your posture. Plus, you can fall and hurt your ankles and feet much more easily when you wear high heels.

Want to keep your feet happy and healthy? Consider these tips:

  • Look for shoes with heels that are not more than an inch high and that have a wide toe box (which means the front part doesn’t squish your toes).
  • The height of a shoe’s heel makes a big difference. A 2-inch heel causes fewer problems than a 4-inch heel.
  • Pointy, narrow-toed shoes put unhealthy pressure on the bones in your feet. If the shoes have high heels, the pressure is even worse.
  • It’s not a good idea to buy shoes hoping that they’ll stretch. Shoes should fit well and already feel comfortable in the store.
  • Slip off the flip-flops. Flip-flops don’t give your feet enough support, so definitely don’t wear them for walking long distances. Also, don’t wear them all the time because they can start to change how you walk in ways that can cause foot and back problems. And they don’t protect your feet from nasty things like stubbing your toe. Consider some flip-flop how-tos:
    • Buy new flip-flops when they look very worn.
    • Replace flip-flops if your foot hangs off the end.
    • Protect your feet with closed shoes when you’re playing sports or doing yard work.
    • When traveling, protect your feet with closed shoes to avoid painful run-ins with suitcases or fellow travelers.


Content last reviewed April 15, 2014
Page last updated May 28, 2014