We’ve all heard about the dangers of wearing high-heels: they can affect your posture, they force your feet into awkward positions, and they’re harder to walk in. Although high-heels have been associated with high-end retail and fashion for decades, flats are becoming more and more popular in recent years. In turn, an increasing number of retailers are bringing out wide ranges of affordable pumps, sandals, and so on. While it may seem good to move from heels to flats, there are consequences to wearing flats that can be just as detrimental to your health as wearing heels.
Probably the most well-known side effect of wearing flats, fallen arches occur when a person wears shoes with little or no arch support for a long period of time. With fashionable flats becoming readily available in cheaper stores across the country, many women are stocking up. The problem with these shoes is that the majority of them will have insufficient support, and will lead to fallen arches. Fallen arches can make walking and exercising extremely painful, and stretches, medication, or even specially designed orthotic devices may be required to undo the damage flats cause to your feet in this area alone.
Plantar fasciitis is the swelling or inflammation of the plantar fascia, the ligament that connects your heels to your toes. Plantar fasciitis is a common result of fallen arches, which makes it easier for the ligament to become irritated or torn. The most common symptom of plantar fasciitis is a sharp pain in the heel, especially when getting out of bed in the morning. The pain caused by plantar fasciitis will only increase as time goes on, so it is important to address it early.
As mentioned above, the plantar fascia is connected to the heel. As a result, any damage that is done to it also affects the ankle, the calf muscle, and the effects can even extend as far as the back. Unfortunately, choosing shoes that do not give us the support we need does not only affect the feet. It leads to pain, which can lead to improper stances and walking techniques, which can in turn lead to further pain in other areas of the body.
Another consideration about flats should be that many of them are made from very soft material that offer very little protection. These fail to protect our feet from cold or wet weather, falling objects, or uneven ground. This not only results in sore or damaged feet, but can lead to other issues such as blisters.
Flats don’t need to be cut out of our lives completely, but it is a good idea to rotate the shoes that you wear regularly, and to make sure that the majority of your everyday shoes offer proper protection and support.