From stylish sneakers to ballet flats and mules, flat shoes have been all the rage over the past few seasons — both on and off the runway. While flats might seem like a more foot-friendly alternative to sky high heels, contrary to popular belief these seemingly sensible shoes might be wreaking havoc on your feet.
According to podiatrist, Dr. Hillary Brenner, flats can definitely do some serious damage. One major factor is the lack of arch support, which is necessary for shock absorption. The lack of support is especially an issue for those with flatter feet.
Flat shoes can also cause plantar fasciitis, which is the tearing of tissues that run the length of your feet. The condition is caused by flats placing constant pressure on your heel, unlike high heeled shoes which take the pressure away from the heel by concentrating it on the ball of the foot.
Narrow flats which constrain the toes can also cause joint pain and even nerve damage.
“When you’re wearing pointy narrow shoes and not much support, the bones rub together,” says Dr. Brenner.
In order to avoid serious injuries, most doctors stress the importance of listening to your body. If flat shoes cause you pain or discomfort, it may be necessary to switch them up with heels, or other styles of shoes