Ballet Flats May Be the Cause of Your Foot Pain
By Dr. Rion Berg
October 23, 2014
Category: Heel pain

Just because ballet flats are all the rage doesn’t mean that your feet can handle these very flat, unsupportive shoes. For so many years women have been told to avoid high, high heels. And many have heeded the call by opting for a flat shoe. Unfortunately these flat, flat shoes can cause a significant number of foot and postural problems.

So what’s wrong with these cute, trendy shoes? Well if you’re young and have perfect feet you may not notice a problem with these trendy shoes. But many people will. Wearing flat shoes with no arch support or lift in the heel can cause the plantar fascia (the band of tissue that starts at the heel, cuts across your arch, and inserts into the base of your toes) to overstretch causing enormous heel pain. Wearing a supportive shoe with a heel of one inch or less will go a long way in alleviating this problem since it relaxes the pull on the plantar fascia and in addition, relaxes the calf muscle which connects to the plantar fascia.

Of course, as a Seattle podiatrist I advocate a supportive shoe with a low heel. However, if you’re going to wear ballet flats here are some recommendations:

  • Wear them sparingly; if you have an office job and you’re not constantly on your feet you’ll probably be fine. But if you work in sales or are constantly on your feet you’re just asking for trouble
     
  • If you walk to work or long distances, wear tennis shoes or another supportive low heeled shoe, not ballet flats.
     
  • Alternate between ballet flats and other shoes with a slight heel.

For more information about how to shop for shoes, refer to my recent blog 7 Essential Shoe Shopping Tips for Women.  If you’re experiencing  foot pain as a result of wearing flat or unsupportive shoes, call our office at 206-368-7000 or request an appointment online

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