Are your arches aching? There’s a good chance the answer is yes. A survey from the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) revealed that half of U.S. adults are suffering with foot pain that negatively impacts daily activities including work. While kicking off tight shoes at the end of a long day brings relief, wearing the wrong shoes can have a longer-term impacts on your health.
Flight attendants who wore heels on the job developed weaker muscles and impaired balance after four years of regular wear compared to peers who embraced flats, according to a recent study published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice.
“Ill-fitting shoes with or without prolonged walking or standing can lead to corns, bunions, plantar fasciitis, hammer toes and fatigue,” says Carrie Bowler, a doctor in New York City. Oh, and hip, back and neck pain can also be blamed on the wrong shoes. If you’re already experiencing any of these, it’s a good idea to check in with your provider to talk about getting some relief.
A few years ago, you might have been tempted to go rogue and show up at the office in sneakers or Uggs. But it’s no longer necessary to make a choice between healthy feet and fashion.
“Many shoe companies are now combining what feels great with what looks great,” says Bowler.
Read on for 10 shoe shopping tips to keep in mind next time you’re browsing on Zappos. Click on the images in the slideshow below for more info on these cute and comfy work shoes:
10 Shoe Shopping Tips:
- Rounded or square toe boxes that allow for more natural movement.
- Low boots, wedges or padded ballet flats, which are better choices than heels.
- Styles with a closed heel or a strap to keep your shoes in place.
- Extra cushioning in the foot bed, as well as breathable lining.
- Rubber soles with enhanced traction to avoid slips.
- Good-quality shoes made from natural, breathable materials such as leather.
- The right size and width — your feet change so it’s a good idea to get properly measured at the store.
- Shoes that makes you wobble when you walk.
- Shoes with pointy tips that jam your toes together.
- High heels over two inches if you can help it. But if you must, go for flats the next day to allow your feet to recover and to help avoid repetitive motion patterns that can damage your body.
Otherwise, happy shopping!