On Sunday mornings I like to get up a little later, drink my coffee slowly, and read the Sunday Seattle Times. Besides keeping up with all the really important news, I often scan for tidbits about feet, shoes, and anything related to podiatry.

Yesterday I read something that is quite dismaying for a Seattle podiatrist. Flat, flat shoes are in!

Now I already knew about ballet flats being all the rage, but I was unaware of all the other flat shoes that are also considered trendy this season. Besides ballet flats the article specifically mentioned loafers, oxfords, pointed shoe flats, and sneakers.

Now I wouldn't go so far to say that flats are a bad choice for everyone, but unless you're in your 20s or have perfect feet (never had a smidge of foot pain), my advice is to wear them sparingly.


Unfortunately as cute or "in" as they are flat shoes are just never going to provide the support most people need in a shoe and can lead to the number one problem that podiatrists see in their office--heel pain or plantar fasciitis.

Flats can start or exacerbate existing heel pain in specific ways.

  • You've been wearing high heels a lot and all of a sudden you switch to flats. When you wear heels your calf muscle which attaches to your plantar fascia shortens up. Once you stop wearing heels and go to flats you're essentially stretching out your calf muscle too rapidly which causes micro tears at the place where the fascia attaches to the heel. The result-- pain!
  • You already have faulty foot type (i.e. flat feet) and you needed support all along to prevent heel pain.
  • You've had heel pain in the past putting you at higher risk for getting it again.

So before you run out and buy the latest shoe craze, stop and think about your feet and their needs. Then make the best choice for you.

More information choosing the right shoes:

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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