Stiletto heels, thin straps, pointy toe- boxes and ballet flats are all something that are commonly seen in woman’s footwear. Although they may look appealing, they are doing your feet no favours. Wearing these sorts of shoes long term can really impact the health of your feet. Conditions such as bunions, corns/ callouses, digital deformities and heel pain are all frequently seen in ladies who wear bad footwear.
Wearing good footwear is essential in preventing these conditions. These common pathologies typically have a link to your footwear and is the first step to conservatively treat the condition.
Bunions– A bunion is a pathology involving the big toe joint, it is generally inherited however greatly exacerbated by wearing poor footwear. High heels and narrow toe boxes will speed up the development and progression of your bunion. However, by distributing the load more evenly across the foot by wearing good supportive shoes it will help to manage and prevent the joint from deteriorating
Corns/ Callouses- Corns or Callouses are a build up of hard skin due to increased pressure on the foot. It is the bodies natural way to protect itself, building up layers of hard skin, however if too much skin develops this can become a problem. Callous can be quite uncomfortable and if left for too long can develop into a painful corn. Hard skin under the forefoot occurs often in woman who wear high heels regularly. Corns on the top or side of the toes is seen in those who wear tight or narrow footwear. This is all easily preventable by wearing appropriate and spacious footwear.
Digital Deformities- Digital deformities, such as hammertoe or claw toes are quite common in woman who wear heeled shoes. When the toes must constantly flex or clench to stay inside the shoe especially under load the joints start to deteriorate and remain in this position. A hammer or claw toe can result in unwanted corns and arthritis. Reducing the height of your shoe or wearing a shoe with a supportive strap can greatly limit the risk of developing a digital deformity.
Heel Pain– Pain in the heel such as plantar fasciitis occurs when there is inflammation of the fascia, one of the main causes can be poor footwear. Shoes with very flat thin soles such as ballet flats can put increased pressure through the arch and result in an injury. Having a supportive and stable heel counter that absorbs pressure under the foot will prevent heel pain from occurring.
While the shoes may look fabulous it is a big price to pay for long term pain. There are some great brands available that do not compromise on either style or comfort.
Good Women’s Footwear Brands
1) Bared Footwear– Designed by Podiatrist Anna Baird, she creates shoes that are on trend but also have foot health in mind. The anatomical foot bed has all the features to keep you comfy and supported throughout the entire day. Their shoes all come with a fit kit to tailor for any foot type.
2) Frankie4 Footwear– FRANKiE4 FOOTWEAR Founded by Podiatrists, FRANKiE4 builds on its heritage and continues to revolutionise the way footwear is designed. Their label is providing women with a healthier option for on-trend footwear. With body mechanics in mind, FRANKiE4 designs aim to alleviate and prevent heel and arch pain, plantar fasciitis and forefoot pain.
3) Ziera Shoes- For more than 70 years, Ziera has been bringing together design and engineering to create shoes that women, and their feet, love. With premium materials, anatomical design and supportive, cushioned footbeds you’ll find there’s no need to sacrifice comfort for style, or fashion for fit. All women deserve to be comfortable in their own skin – and in their shoes.
4) Archie’s Thongs- Physiotherapist Daniel Jones designed Archie’s Orthotic Thongs while working as a Private Practice Physio. He found himself continually warning his patients who required support to stop wearing typical flat thongs and needed to find an alternative. He started the initial prototypes in his nan and pops shed and after five years of extensive testing, research, and development with input from some of Melbourne’s leading Podiatrists and Physiotherapist, Archie’s Arch Support Thongs were born!