Sarah Terry
November 07, 2016 4:01 pm
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Shoes are one of our favorite accessories hands down. Or should we say feet down? Shoes can express our fun side or our fabulous side. But what toll do our stylish stilettos take on our soles? Now, doctors have confirmed which shoes are the worst for your feet, and some of the answers are surprising.

Dr. Hillary Brenner and Dr. Miguel Cuhna, both podiatrists rank some of our favorite types of shoes based on how hard they are on their feet. A 1 rating means a shoe is great for the feet, and a 10 means it’s hard on your soles. The information is very interesting, but it doesn’t mean you have to stop wearing your favorite heels. It’s just important to know what might be going on when you slip on your wedges. We’ll go through each kind of shoes and any details you need to worry about.

High heels: how high is too high?

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Stilettos higher than 2 inches: Dr. Brenner: 9.75 Dr. Cunha: 9.5

Stilettos lower than 2 inches: Dr. Brenner: 7 Dr. Cunha: 5

We’re not exactly surprised that tall stilettos aren’t great for our feet, but we didn’t realize that even two inches causes problems. Stilettos more than two inches tall are the worst for your feet. They disrupt your center of gravity, because of their height and lack of stability. We’ve all experienced that tottering feeling when we put on our awesome, but tall shoes. Luckily, all is not lost. If you want to wear tall stilettos, try to go only 2-3 hours max. And make sure to stretch and exercise. Draw the alphabet with your foot or roll it out with a tennis ball.

And what about those heels lower than 2 inches? They definitely rank better on Brenner’s and Cunha’s scales, but still not great. But at under 2 inches, it’s less about the height and more about the stability of the heel and the feet you have. Flat-footed people actually benefit from a 1-inch heel, but a foot with a high arch might be too unstable in a heel.

Ballet flats are fabulous on your feet, right? Maybe not.

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Ballet Flats: Dr. Brenner: 9.75 Dr. Cunha: 8.5

WHAT?! Yeah, when we saw those numbers, we weren’t happy either. Dr. Brenner says that flats can be just as bad as heels, because they provide little arch support or shock absorption. Plus the often narrow cut of ballet flats can really constrain your toes. We may have to rethink our favorite choice of street shoes.

Wedges and Chunky Heels that aren’t too high may be the perfect shoe. 

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Chunky Heel higher than 2 inches: Dr. Brenner: 6 Dr. Cunha: 7.5

Chunky Heel lower than 2 inches: Dr. Brenner: 4 Dr. Cunha: 4

Wedges Dr. Brenner: 3 Dr. Cunha: 4

Wow, these numbers are a lot better than the numbers for stilettos and ballet flats. The squared up heel of chunky heels makes them more stable. Of course, anything too high still puts a lot of pressure on the front of the foot. But both doctors say that a chunky heel of about 1 inch might be the perfect shoe. The heel provides extra arch support, and the stable heel keeps you stable and protected from rolling your ankle.

Similarly, both doctors love the option of a wedge. Dr. Brenner insists that if you want a tall shoe, wedges are the best option. Although, she recommends a cork or rubber sole, rather than wooden wedges.

Of course, the best shoes for your feet are still good tennis shoes.

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Good Sneakers: Dr. Brenner: 1 Dr. Cunha: 1

Of course the best option is a pair of good sneakers. Both doctors insist that they provide the proper ankle, arch, and heel support.

And while we may not switch to wearing only sneakers, we’re glad to know the effects of our shoe choices.

 

From now on, we’ll try to choose wedges or more stable heels when the occasion calls for it!

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