What you really need to know about your shoes

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Before you head out your door, you might want to rethink wearing those seemingly-wonderful shoes you bought over the weekend. Studies show that many popular types of shoes can wreak havoc on foot health–including some that feel the most comfortable. We break down the pros and cons of popular footwear.



Because your feet are naturally arched, flat shoes provide minimal support for the arch. The result is that the foot has to work harder than usual, and you might develop pain in your feet, legs and lower back. If worn for prolonged periods of time, flats can also contribute to the onset of shin splints and plantar fasciitis.



Besides the fact that flip-flops leave your feet susceptible to scrapes and bruises, there is also scientific evidence that these shoes can lead to injuries similar to those with wearing flats. The altered gait during flip flop-wearing can result in pain in the feet, hips and back. Avoid flip flop injuries by following these dos and don’ts.



One of the biggest problems with wearing high heels is that it causes you to shift more weight onto the balls of your feet, thereby unbalancing your distribution of weight. The resulting increased pressure on the forefoot can cause not only discomfort, but also stress fractures, abnormal nerve tissue growth and a shortened Achilles tendon.



Wedges' rigid foot beds prevent the foot from naturally bending and straightening while walking, which can put excessive pressure on the foot and cause imbalance. When trying on wedges, examine and compare how parallel your feet are to the floor. The more parallel they are, the less hazardous the shoes are, and vice versa.



Whether you wear them during a workout or your commute, certain guidelines should be followed to ensure you are reducing chances of pain and injury as much as possible. Based on individual factors, including your foot type and activity level, you can search for your ideal sneaker here.



Some doctors say that wearing boots provides superb ankle support; a downside, however, is that over time, muscles, tendons and ligaments can actually become weaker, and feet can become unstable. Doctors recommend that if you are going to wear boots, not to wear them for more than eight hours in a given day.