Foot Health: Avoid these 5 shoe types

By Dr. Marshall L. Lukoff
Do you have sore, aching feet or toe stiffness and pain, or have you developed blisters in unusual spots on your feet? The problem may be your shoes. Our feet take a beating from walking, running or even just standing. Wearing the wrong shoes can cause foot pain and any number of temporary or even chronic foot problems.
Here’s our list of 5 shoe types to avoid − or at least wear in moderation!
Ballet Flats. The down side is these shoes can be too flat without adequate arch support, cushioning or shock absorption. But wearing these flexible shoes can also make your feet work harder, creating stronger muscles. Be aware that these shoes can cause tendonitis, heel pain, stress fractures and injuries from stepping on sharp objects.
Converse-style Sneakers. These shoes provide cushioning and shock absorption but not much arch support. The flexible material can help those who suffer from hammertoes and bunions. Wearing these shoes for too long can result in tendonitis, heel pain and stress fractures.
Flip-Flops. Save these flimsy sandals for protection from burning sand at the beach or to prevent a fungal infection at public places like pools, spas and locker rooms. Flip-flops have no arch support, and your toes have to work hard to keep them on your feet. The lack of cushioning means a really hard heel strike which can cause heel pain. Flip-flops can cause many problems including heel pain, tendonitis, strains and fractures.
High Heels, Stilettos and Platform Wedges. A heel that is too high shifts your weight forward onto the balls of your feet and squeezes your toes. Shoes with high heels can even cause a balance problem as they force your hips and knees forward. Platform wedges are less harmful as they have a reduced incline and more cushioning. Problems from wearing stilettos and platform wedges include ankle sprains, neuromas or nerve tumors, pinched nerves, hammertoes and bunions.
Rainboots. These are fun and certainly help keep your feet dry but they are not meant to wear for long periods of time. Bacteria and fungi love them because they are waterproof, and the top of the boot can irritate your calf. Wearing rain boots for too long can cause bacterial and fungal infections, wart viruses and blisters.
Dr. Marshall L. Lukoff is a Fellow of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery and Founder and Owner of Foot Care Specialists PC of Quincy and Dedham. He can be reached at (617) 479-7921,, or