When it comes to footwear in the city, style is undoubtedly key. Even though the walking culture of New York City is brutal, people are not choosing footwear that treats feet well. Here are five favorite shoes most women wear, why they choose to wear the shoes and how fashion can put your health and comfort in danger.
Although boots generally do provide more support than most shoe types, flat boots often pose the same arch support problem as ballet flats. Try to buy boots with a slight heel, which naturally adds more of an arch without affecting the weight distribution of your feet. Insoles are also an option for boots that lack a heel, especially shearling boots in the wintertime.
Summer is just around the corner, which means this much-loved shoe is back for the warm season. Flip-flops are perfect for a quick summer shoe that can add a beachy look to any outfit. However, these summer classics give no support to your feet, causing a lack of shock-absorbance that can lead to pain in the soles, knees, back and hips. Since you can’t add more support to flip-flops themselves, it’s recommended to save your flip-flops for the beach, and wear shoes with more support while walking around the city.
Ballet flats are an easy, go-to shoe for a stylish year-round look but provide little to no arch support or cushion. Add arch support insoles into your favorite flats to give your feet the support they need, which will also give you more comfort while walking to and from class. Affordable insoles, like Medi-Dyne arch supports ($13), can be found at your local drugstores. You can also opt for flats that provide the comfort and support your feet need, like simple black flats from Vaneli ($98).
From stilettos to platforms, it’s hard to go wrong with a fabulous pair of heels. But these towering shoes can cause a lot of long-term damage. Wearing such high shoes places all your weight entirely on the balls of your feet. This unnatural position might inflict more than temporary pain, including hammertoes, corns and callouses. To make the towering shoes just a little more bearable, try gel inserts made especially for heels, like Dr. Scholl’s For Her High Heel Insoles ($12). And keep these daring shoes for special occasions when walking is at a minimum.
Platforms and Wedges
Although wedges do not cause as many problems for your feet, they can still create discomfort. Most wedges have a rigid sole, meaning your foot is forced into an unnatural arch. This position puts a lot of pressure on the metatarsals, the bones in your toes, causing stress and pain. If you want to wear these shoes comfortably, try a shorter wedge that does not have a steep angle on the sole.
Dana Reszutek is a staff writer. Email her at [email protected]