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Are Your Shoes to Blame for Your Foot Pain?

You probably already know that ill-fitting shoes often contribute to painful blisters on your feet, but blisters are far from the only foot injury caused by shoes. Wearing the wrong pair of shoes can increase your risk of developing foot pain, stress fractures, plantar fasciitis, and more. 

At Allcare Foot & Ankle Center, Dr. Michael Tran and our staff excel at treating foot injuries, but we also want to help you avoid foot pain when possible — and that starts with good footwear. 

We’ve created this guide to shed light on the shoes that support your feet as well as the shoes that hurt your feet.

Your shoes might be to blame if…

Foot pain caused by shoes can manifest in many ways. You might notice blisters appear on the back of your heels or on your toes. You might develop arch pain, and if you already have bunions, they might hurt more.

The most problematic shoes are:

High-heeled shoes

Heel shoes wreak havoc on your feet. The height of the heel adds more stress on the balls of your feet. Ultra-high heels cause the most pain. A three-inch heel, for instance, places an increase of 75% of your body weight onto the ball of your feet. This intense increase in pressure can lead to problems with your ligaments, tendons, and even stress fractures in your metatarsal bones, sesamoid bones, and toe bones.

Pointy shoes or shoes with a narrow toe box

Narrow shoes may be in style, but they can contribute to foot pain. Because the toe box is unnaturally narrow, it squeezes your toes together. If you wear pointy shoes regularly, the constant squeezing can lead to bunions and hammertoes.


It’s tempting to wear flip-flops; after all, they are easy to slide on and can help protect you against contracting athlete’s foot in any shared public locker rooms. However, wearing flip-flops for hours on end can cause foot pain. The biggest problem with this type of sandal is that there is no arch support. Flip-flops also force your toes to curl as your walk, which can contribute to problems in the long run.

When choosing sandals, look for supportive sandals that feature adjustable straps and heel support. 

Wrongs shoes for your activity

Even well-fitting shoes can hurt your feet if you aren’t wearing the right shoe for whatever activity or sport you are participating. Always wear the appropriate footwear with your intended activity. Playing soccer? Wear soccer shoes. Playing golf? Wear golf shoes. Running on a trail? Wear running shoes designed for trail running.

Shoes that lack support

Finally, your shoes might be the source of your foot pain if they aren’t supportive enough for you. A good pair of shoes should be: 

Tip: Consider professional shoe fittings from time-to-time. Your feet might not be the same size as they once were. Pregnancy and aging can also affect the size of your feet.

Why shoes matter

If your shoes don’t fit right or aren’t supportive enough, you might have foot pain (calluses, blisters, etc.), but you might also notice ankle, knee, or hip pain. Investing in good quality shoes helps your feet — and supports healthy alignment throughout your whole body as well. And if you already have knee pain, studies show that wearing supportive shoes can reduce the load put on your knees.

What if your foot still hurts?

Though good footwear goes a long way in keeping your feet healthy and happy, sometimes your feet hurt for reasons beyond your control. At AllCare Foot & Ankle Center, we’re happy to provide comprehensive foot care so that you can get back on your feet sans pain.

If your feet hurt, we’re just a call or click away. Call our Arlington or Dallas, Texas office today. You can also schedule an appointment quickly online.

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