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Flat on your foot: Why flat footwear is best

We explain the merits of wearing flat shoes as opposed to high heeled ones.

A generation bred on posting their lives on social media has little time to appear sloppy. Women who aspire to a high street status would rarely be caught wearing Nike slippers instead of towering heels. But though they look great, are high heeled shoes really advisable?

Why avoiding heeled footwear is better for your body…

Heeled footwear looks stunning and it is totally on point in the fashion stakes. The world over, stilettos and pencil heels are considered the epitome of high fashion. They are the default footwear for red carpet events – the Cannes Film Festival red carpet has an unofficial dress code banning flat shoes – and celebrities walk in them with aplomb.

But high heeled footwear is murder on the back, legs and hips. Since the heel is upraised when you stand or walk, there is an unnatural height added to the body. At the same time, the foot is half lifted off the ground and your walk and posture alters dramatically. Over time, there is tremendous stress on the back, hips and legs to maintain the posture and walk properly in heeled footwear. If the footwear is tight, it might cause corns and bunions on the toes. Meanwhile, more serious problems like the Achilles tendon and the fasciitis tendon getting stretched and shortened can also take place. When this happens, wearing even flat footwear or walking barefoot on the ground can become painful.

To cut a long story short, it is best to avoid wearing high heeled footwear. If you must wear it as part of your ensemble (i.e. if you’re going to a party, or wedding reception, or an awards night) then it is best to intersperse periods of standing with equal periods of sitting. If you wear high heeled boots or strappy stilettos at the workplace, keep a pair of comfortable slippers under your desk to slip your feet into.

The kind of footwear that works best for your feet

However, not all flat shoes are good for the feet. Generally, if the shoe is too flexible or if it has a thin sole, then it cannot provide adequate foot support. If you already suffer from plantar fasciitis or have a tendency towards corns and bunions, then you will need to pick your footwear cautiously.

Open a good shopping app like Jabong to buy –

* Flip flops with a thick sole. Flip flops are best, but only if the sole provides cushioning. Nike slippers have an excellent range in flip flops. Nike slippers are also quite trendy, so you can wear them to work with certain ensembles, though they are best with casual ensembles.

* Sneakers with a thick sole. These are best for both walking and light sprinting, since the sole provides shock absorption.

* Wedge or platform shoes. If you still want a bit of height, look for platform or wedge heels. Since the sole touches the ground uniformly, your feet are not as troubled as they would be in stilettos.