Does Wearing Flat Shoes Hurt Your Feet?

Flats shoes are the best in comfort. However, wearing flat shoes has several negative effects on your foot. In fact, all types of footwear, not just flats, can cause some foot pain if not properly worn. Many people view high heels has the worst shoes due to their damaging effects. There might be some truth in this especially when your feet start to hurt after just a few hours of wearing your heels. But, flats aren’t the safest option either because research shows some health risks of wearing flats. As we go deeper on most upsetting risks of wearing flats, many of them will shock you.

1. Flats with Thin Sole Cause Pain

Wearing unsupportive flat shoes such as flip-flops can make your arches to drop causing the ligament and tendons in the base of the foot to overstretch or tear. There was one case where a woman had to be rushed to the emergency room because of foot pain caused by flat shoes. The doctor said that the flats made her develop a plantar fascist, a condition that results from inflammation of the fascia that runs across the bottom of the foot from the heel bone to the toes. You’re advised to ensure that your flats have arch support and avoid super flat shoes.

2. Your Feet Will Be Hurt If You Wear Flats That Don’t Fit

In this case, we are referring to too tight shoes especially around the toes which might lead to pain or a major problem. Your ingrown toenail can turn into an internal infection which potentially spreads to the bones resulting in massive health issues. To avoid this, ensure your toes have enough breathing space when buying your flat shoes. You should be able to move them around freely without any form of pain.

3. Flat Shoes Lack Shock Absorber

Apart from flats shoes having a thin unsupportive sole, they also lack shock absorber. As you walk, your foot slams into the ground over and over again. This is a major problem because your heel bones take the brunt of the impact which can cause health problem with time. An example of a major problem is the painful blisters that form on your Achilles tendon when the back of your flat shoe rubs against the leg. You might think is because your shoes aren’t fitting properly but often it’s because of the lack of sole support. To fix this, buy a pair of low or block heeled shoes instead of flats. Wearing a pair of broad, thick heeled shoe is always better for your health than a pair of flats.

4. Causes Musculoskeletal Complications

As pointed out, the plantar fascia is connected to your heel bone. Consequently, any damage done to those bones affects your ankles, the calf muscle, and the effect can go up to the back. So, wearing shoes that don’t offer the required support not only affects your feet but also they cause pain to other body parts. Additionally, it can affect your walking style and cause improper stances. Even worse, due to the pressure exerted on the toes, it can make them contract and eventually curl under permanently, a condition known as hammertoe. At this point, you need medical intervention to correct it.

Best Shoes to Wear

Wedge heels: You should consider wearing a slightly low wedged shoe. Since they have a slight angle your leg will not bend that much. Plus, they are very comfortable and offer the support and balance required.

Sneakers: While sneakers are viewed as athletic shoes, they are generally supportive and are made with softer material. You can get some good looking sneakers that aren’t athletic like. In addition to that, most sneakers have a long lifespan depending on the usage. Be sure to replace them if they are worn out to avoid injuries.


Wearing shoes with a small heel is great for realigning your posture and making you stand straighter. However, avoid too high heels since they can cause negative effects. Blocked or small heeled shoes also offer more support for the tendons on your feet avoiding the need to overstretch them. Sine your feet provides you with more services than you give them credit for, the best thing you can do is buy them a pair of shoes that matches. Remember shoes are personal too, the choice you make will depend on your activity levels, weight, height, walking and personal style. In case of a foot pain that persists for a long time or that cause uncomfortable experiences, you need to see a podiatrist for an evaluation. Otherwise, make sure you wear the right shoes for the activity at hand.

All images by Pixabay


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