You finally relented and ala Victoria Beckham you swore off your high-heeled shoes for ones that were equally fashionable. Now you have a whole stack of ballet flats, Converse sneaks, and Stan Smiths.

Unfortunately, you didn't check in with the foot police before you made your purchase. The problem is that wearing ballet flats and sneakers can be equally as bad for you as high heels.

While you might be slowing down bunion progression and painful neuromas by putting your stilettos up for sale, with flat shoes you're putting yourself at risk for other foot problems.

Plantar fasciitis or heel pain is the number one problem for those who love to walk in flat shoes.


Every time you step down on a flat shoe your arches flatten out due to the lack of support. When that happens, the plantar fascia that runs from the ball of your foot to your heel stretches out more than it should. Over time an overstretched plantar fascia can lead to micro tears and heel pain.

Also, if you've just made the switch from heel to flats without any time in a supportive shoe, you're more likely to experience immediate pain. Wearing heels causes your calf muscle to shorten and flat shoes stretch them out. And because your calf is attached to the plantar fascia in your heel, you're asking your plantar fascia to stretch even more, causing more damage to your heel.

How To Stay Fashionable Without Pain

I know that many of you will still end up wearing flat shoes after reading this blog, so here's how to cushion the blow.

  • Instead of going from high heels to flats alone, keep your flat shoe wear to a minimum. Instead of walking to the bus and work in your ballet flats, wear a pair of supportive tennis shoes for your longer walks.
  • Get yourself a pair of Powersteps or Superfeet for your ballet flats. It will make a big difference in providing the support your need.
  • Think outside of the box. Although flat shoes are popular, keep in mind that every bit of height you add up to an inch will help prevent heel pain.

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment, often same day. You can also request an appointment online.

Get our free foot book "No More Foot Pain", mailed directly to your home.

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

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