Even though she became a style icon thanks to Carrie Bradshaw’s iconic wardrobe and shoe collection, Sarah Jessica Parker admitted that “Sex and the City” also caused her a lot of grief. “I went to a foot doctor and he said, ‘Your foot does things it shouldn’t be able to do. That bone there… You’ve created that bone. It doesn’t belong there,’” Parker told The Edit.
If you’d like to avoid her issues, you have to know a few things about foot problems caused by shoes. Stilettos may be the worst offender, but there are plenty of other shoes that put your health at risk.
Toe Deformities – Stilettos
High heels aren’t just the most uncomfortable shoes, they can also cause the most damage in the long run. Because your toes are being squashed inside the shoe, the bones actually change their shape, resembling claws. You can’t get this kind of damage from wearing high heels only on special occasions, but you can end up with deformed toes if you wear them regularly, for 8 hours or more.
Bunions – Tight Shoes
88% of American women wear shoes that are too small, according to the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society, and 55% end up with bunions. They’re one of the most serious foot problems caused by shoes, and the only way to minimize the risk is to make sure that your shoes are never too tight or too narrow. Get them professionally measured at a shoe store a couple of times a month and stop trying to squeeze them into shoes that are one size too small.
Ankle Trouble – Platform Shoes
You may think that you can reduce the risk of bunions and toe deformities by replacing stilettos with platforms, but that’s not always the case. Platform shoes come with their own big issue: they contribute to ankle instability. Because you’re adding unnatural height to your feet, you’re more likely to experience ankle sprains if you wear platforms too often or for too long.
Achilles Tendon Injury – High Heels
Wearing stilettos for an extended period of time can also contribute to stretching of the Achilles tendon, and increase the risk of injury. You don’t have to be an athlete to develop tendinitis, and this is one of the biggest foot problems caused by shoes.
Plantar Fasciitis – Flip-Flops
While heels definitely have their drawbacks, going too far in the opposite direction is also risky. Since they offer no support, flip-flops can cause Plantar fasciitis, a condition that causes severe foot pain. The lack of support means tendon problems, including the inflammation of the tendon that connects the heel bone to the toes, which is usually very painful.
See also: 10 Shoe Styles Every Woman Should Own
Nerve Damage – High Boots
While tight footwear is never a good idea, one of the worst foot problems caused by shoes is the nerve damage that you’re risking by wearing tight thigh-high boots. If they’re made not materials with very little stretch, they restrict your knee movements and put pressure on nerves, which can lead to burning and pain sensations.
Joint and Tendon Problems – Worn-Out Shoes
Athletic footwear, particularly running shoes, can also cause trouble when the cushioning is worn out. You should replace your shoes for every 400-500 miles in order to minimize the risk of joint pain and other health issues for your feet.
Pain – Ballet Flats
Just like flip-flops, ballet flats offer virtually no arch support. Since they also have very limited cushioning, they can contribute to other foot problems caused by shoes. Don’t wear them every day for extended periods of time.
Fungus – Uggs
Sheepskin lining may be very comfortable, but even if it doesn’t cause any trouble with your joints and tendons, it can still become a health hazard, particularly if you wear ugg boots without socks. The humidity in the shoe can increase the risk of developing a foot fungus.
Arthritis – Uncomfortable Shoes
Whether they have high heels or no heels, any uncomfortable shoe can increase the risk of arthritis in the joints in your feet, because of extra pressure. Make sure that you’re always comfortable in your shoes, or you’re risking a lot of health issues.