While it's important to know how to find a supportive shoe, it's equally important to know what shoes to avoid.

Why You Should Avoid Tight shoes, Short shoes, and Narrow-toed shoes

Not only do shoes like this hurt, but they can also cause ingrown toenails, fungal toenails, and a condition called Morton's neuroma, which pinches the forefoot and pinches a nerve between your bones.

Why You Should Avoid Flat Shoes

While ballet flats are all the rage, they're a terrible choice for someone prone to plantar fasciitis. Instead of a flat shoe with no arch or support, a person with a tendency towards plantar fasciitis needs the opposite. Look for a shoe with a slight heel, one inch or less, and good arch support.

Why You Should Avoid Flip Flops

Well, it's fine to wear flip-flops at the beach or the pool, but don't wear them for long walks or other activities. They're usually totally flat and have no support. Wearing them for extended periods can lead to heel pain, Morton's neuroma, blisters, and sprained ankles.

Why You Should Avoid Flexible Shoes

Flexible shoes are what I call squishy and cushy shoes may feel comfy due to the cushy bottoms, but they provide little or no support through the arch and the ankle. It's important to balance comfort with support. Remember, you can test any shoe by using the guidelines in my video above. If you find shoes that can easily bend in half and be rung out like a rag, avoid them if you don't want a plantar fasciitis flare-up.

Why You Should Avoid High Heels and Stiletto Shoes

You know, high heels are bad, but you might wonder why. First, the high heel can shorten your calf muscle, putting even greater stress on the plantar fascia and putting you at risk for plantar fasciitis. And second, high heels place a tremendous amount of force in the ball of the foot and toes leading to worsening conditions like Morton's neuroma, bunions, hammertoes, and metatarsalgia.

Dr. Rion Berg
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A podiatrist in North Seattle treating families for over 40 years.