The Best and Worst Shoes for Your Feet According To Foot and Ankle Specialists

One of the most common questions asked by patients is “what shoes should I wear/not wear?”. With so many shoe options available today, this is an extremely valid question to ask. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the best and worst shoes for your

One of the most common questions asked by patients is “what shoes should I wear/not wear?”. With so many shoe options available today, this is an extremely valid question to ask. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the best and worst shoes for your feet in our professional opinions!  

What are the worst shoes for your feet?  

  • Flip flops

Flip flops are not recommended for everyday wear. They are permitted for going to the beach but are definitely not the best option for any time outside of a quick trip to the sandy shores.  

With nothing more than a thin layer of plastic or foam on the bottom to create a barrier between your foot and the ground, flip flops offer no arch support. On average, you put 3-6x your body weight onto your feet during normal walking. Without proper support, the weight will continue to push down on your arch and could eventually lead to foot and ankle issues such as pain, swelling, or even flat foot.  

Further, flip flops create additional stress on your toes as they are required to curl under and grip the prong between your toe and the base of the shoe to keep it on versus a sandal with a back strap that will allow your feet to have more of a “normal” gait. More on that soon.  

Overall, the consensus from the group of highly skilled foot and ankle specialists at Platte River Foot & Ankle Surgeons is to ditch the flip flops unless you’re on a quick getaway to the pool or ocean.  

  • Dress shoes

Dress shoes are some of the worst shoes you can wear, period. Let’s break this down.  

Men’s dress shoes usually have very little or no arch support and pointed toes which can lead to bunion formation. 

Women’s dress shoes are bad across the board. From “flats” which have no arch support and really no cushion on the bottom at all while also usually offering pointed toe fronts to high heels that put your feet into very unnatural positions raising the heel and putting all the weight on the balls of your feet with pointed toes, it’s no wonder that women suffer from painful feet.  

Continue reading to learn about our top picks for better shoe options!  

  • Barefoot shoes

There is a semi-popular phenomenon called “barefoot living” or “barefoot lifestyle” where individuals believe it’s beneficial to be barefoot. In our years of experience and our skilled and intense training we do not believe this to be true. We highly recommend wearing supportive footwear versus going barefoot or wearing “barefoot shoes”.  

Going barefoot can cause weakening of your muscles and arches and lead to collapsing of the foot. This is not only a problem for your feet, but for the rest of your body as well.  

What are the best shoes for your feet?  

Sandals:  

  1. Chaco (starting at $50)
    1. Men: https://www.chacos.com/US/en/lowdown-2-sandal/48929M.html?dwvar_48929M_color=JCH107847#cgid=men-footwear-sandals&srule=price-low-to-high&start=1
    2. Women: https://www.chacos.com/US/en/z-cloud-2-sandal/24096W.html?dwvar_24096W_color=J107364#cgid=women-footwear-sandals&start=1
  2. Teva (starting at $55)
    1. Men: https://www.teva.com/men-sandals/meacham/1110392.html
    2. Women: https://www.teva.com/sandals/hurricane-xlt2/1019235.html
  3. Clarks (starting at $50)
    1. Men: https://www.clarksusa.com/c/Nature-5-Trail/p/26172332
    2. Women: https://www.clarksusa.com/c/ATL-Trek-Sport/p/26171856
  4. Keen (starting at $110)
    1. Men: https://www.keenfootwear.com/collections/mens-sandals/products/mens-newport-h2-monochrome-olive-drab
    2. Women: https://www.keenfootwear.com/collections/womens-sandals/products/womens-newport-h2-monochrome-smoke-blue

Dress Shoes: 

Women: 

  1. Clarks https://www.clarksusa.com/c/Seren-30-Court/p/26168399
  2. VAVAIA https://www.vivaia.com/item/square-toe-v-cut-flats-p_10003532.html?gid=10002950

Men:  

Try to find a wide-toe option such as these: https://birchbury.com/brenston?gclid=CjwKCAjw_MqgBhAGEiwAnYOAehOrfpz446u5LmgTrBOw5lv-643hs2j94T7SaqSp46gy319ZVTsXvhoCg64QAvD_BwE 

Athletic shoes: 

For both men and women, we recommend Brooks athletic shoes.  

Men: https://www.brooksrunning.com/en_us/all-mens-running-shoes/ 

Women: https://www.brooksrunning.com/en_us/all-womens-running-shoes/ 

For any questions regarding which shoes to wear or a specific foot or ankle concern you have, please leave a comment on our social media (links in footer below) or click the “Request Appointment” link in the upper right corner to come see us in person!  

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