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Here’s Why These 8 Shoe Styles are Worst for Your Feet

Did you know that avoid the worst shoe styles for your feet is as important as wearing the right ones? In our Spring and Tomball, TX podiatry practice, we know that wearing the right shoes matters. With proper foot gear, you can avoid pain and walk or exercise comfortably. But with the wrong pair? Well, foot pain and other complications are common.

That was the case for our patient Sandy L, who recently shared, “I saw Dr. Walsh for bad blisters on my toes from my athletic shoes. I even brought new shoes with me to ask her opinion if they were right for me to wear. She has a very kind and caring disposition and explained things to me in an easy-to-understand manner. She even noticed another issue with my feet and recommended that I discuss this with my cardiologist. Her staff were also very nice and pleasant to work with. I highly recommend Dr. Walsh and this practice.”

Now, we’re always happy to help address shoe-related foot pain. But we’d rather you never get into trouble in the first place. So, with that goal in mind, keep reading for the 7 shoe styles we need you to avoid!

8 Shoe Styles to Avoid for Healthy Feet worst shoe styles

From heel height to shoe material, so many shoe features can hurt your feet. But these are the worst offenders. Reserve these 7 shoe styles for rare special occasions and your feet will thank you!

High Heels

When it comes to your heel height, the magic number is three. If your heels are over three-inches high, especially if they’re pointy stilettos, you increase your risk for several foot complications. By throwing off your balance, you’re more likely to sprain your ankle. Then, by pushing your weight onto your forefoot, you also raise your risk for bunions, hammertoes and morton’s neuromas.

Want to stay safe? Reserve high heels for special conditions. When you do wear them, try to limit time spent on your feet. And, if possible, keep your heels on the chunky side to improve stability and weight distribution.

High-Heeled Sneakers

According to a new Harvard study, running in sneakers with thicker heels can lead to running injuries. While a thick-soled heel (over 1-inch) can relieve plantar fasciitis pain, it increases your risk for shin splints and forefoot injuries.


So, it’s not great to go sky high with heels. But too flat isn’t great, either. What’s the problem with a flat shoe? They’re low on cushioning, especially rubber-soled, thin ballet flats. Plus, with little-to-no arch support, they increase your risk for heel pain or tendinitis.

Married to your flats? Look for brands like Birkenstocks that build support into their shoe beds. Or slip a custom orthotic into your favorite flats to take pressure off your feet.

Pointy Toes

Your feet don’t come to a point, so your shoes shouldn’t either. Like stilettos, pointy shoes of any heel height cram your toes together. And that can increase your risk for neuromas and hammertoes.

Flip Flops

This summer favorite comes with all the risks of other flats, plus a few bonus foot concerns. Because flip-flops have no back support, your toes have to grip to keep your shoes from sliding around. Again, hammertoes could result from wearing flip flops too often.

But, unlike flats, we do recommend wearing flip flops at appropriate moments, like at your local pool or in a locker room. As long as your flip flops have some grips on their sole to help you walk on slick surfaces, covering your feet in public will help you avoid foot or toenail fungus.


While this sleek shoe style often has proper arch support, it still lacks a supportive backing. As a result, your toes grip as they do in flip-flops. And that ups your risk for problems, so limit your time in mules as you would with flats or stilettoes.

Plastic Shoes

While popular at the beach, or in some celebrity style books, plastic shoes can be a big problem for your feet. Why? Well, they don’t breathe well, which can make your feet sweat too much. In turn, your feet can stay moist, especially if you skip wearing socks with your shoes. And, since foot fungus like athlete’s foot thrives in damp environments, your risk of infection increases dramatically.

Want to stay safe? Always wear socks with plastic or rubber shoes. And limit your wearings for moments when you need easy-to-clean shoes, like in an art studio or when working in your garden.

Walking Shoes

These sneakers can be deceptive. They seem like a supportive shoe choice, but really, they don’t offer enough support to protect your feet during workouts or training runs. So, by all means, rock your Allbirds when you’re strolling the mall. But choose a dedicated running shoe, cross trainer or basketball sneaker if you’re clocking in some cardio!

Need more help finding the right shoes to protect your feet? Or do you need a custom orthotic to wear your favorite shoes without discomfort? That’s what we’re here for! Reach out and request an immediate appointment. We’ll get you walking comfortably in shoes that help your feet feel their best.