They say that beauty is pain, and in the fashion world, we often swap out the word “beauty” for “style.” Style is pain? That doesn’t sound enticing. I’m a devout trend follower and appreciator of nice things (don’t judge me), but even I can’t get behind items that are bad for my overall well-being—even the prettiest pair of stilettos.
Since shoe trends operate on a swiftly moving trend rotation and can determine how comfortable we are throughout the day, we needed to touch base with our favorite podiatrist, Bobby Pourziaee, also known as the High Heel Doc of Rodeo Drive Podiatry, to get the 411 on which shoe trends we should skip this season.
When I told him about the season’s biggest shoe trends, there were some he literally laughed at for the overall harm the structure can have on your foot’s health. Below, read along as this podiatrist breaks down which ones are laughable at best, and which you should stock up on ASAP.
Don’t worry, the ones he recommends are some of our favorite styles for this season meaning apparently, comfort and style actually can go hand in hand.
DON’T WEAR: FLIP-FLOPS
“Even though your toes (and that beautiful pedicure) are out for the world to see, extended use of flip-flops can lead to arch and heel pain. Flip-flops notoriously have no support. Keep them only for the beach or the pool.”
DO WEAR: SNEAKERS AND RUNNING SHOES. “By definition, these have optimum arch support and soles meant for shock absorption. Companies like Nike make sneakers and running shoes fashionably, so you can run and take to the gym or you can wear with a cute pair of jeans.”
DON’T WEAR: BALLET FLATS
“Even though these remind you of your days in ballet class in first position, these shoes also have zero support. They give you a false sense of material because your foot is covered, but the material is thin, and therefore it can easily be punctured while walking on the street to your barre class (or coffee date).”
DON’T WEAR: PLASTIC SHOES
“The plastic shoe trend will hopefully not last long. Not only does plastic cause major perspiration of the feet, but the friction caused by the plastic can create blisters and pain. Besides that, they make your feet smell really bad.”
DO WEAR: COWBOY BOOTS. “Cowboy boots will always be a popular trend. Just make sure there’s always room for your toes so they aren’t squished. Cowboy boots also provide great ankle support.”
DON’T WEAR: GLADIATOR SANDALS
“These give the illusion of ankle support because of the straps, but the flimsy straps provide minimal support of the ankle and therefore can cause an ankle twist or a bad runway fall.”
DO WEAR: BIRKENSTOCK-STYLE SANDALS. “Even though your jaw may drop when you see a friend walk into a party with Birkenstocks on, they’re actually good for your feet. They provide good shock absorption and arch support. PS, they sometimes make your feet smell if you wear them too long, so don’t forget to soak your feet in epsom salt to help with the odor and to be proactive on swelling.”
DON’T WEAR: CLOSE-TOED MULES
“Close-toed mules can squish your foot because they’re narrow. More importantly, they have no ankle or rear-foot support. This can easily allow for a sprained ankle or long-term damage.”
DO WEAR: WEDGE HEELS. “Wear these instead of stilettos because they give you more support and balance with the wedge.”
DON’T WEAR: HEELS HIGHER THAN 3 INCHES
“General rule: the higher the heel, the closer to god, but also increased chances of ankle sprains and long-term damage to the forefoot.”