Do the summer shoe shuffle The best styles for the warmer weather
During the warmer weather it’s not easy to give up style (and the chance to show off your fresh pedicure) for the sake of comfort. We compare your favourite footwear and pick the best options.
Canvas Sneakers vs Ballet Flats
“Ballet flats, which can bend in any direction, offer zero support and shock absorption,” says Anna Baird, podiatrist and founder of Bared Footwear. “Your foot slides in the shoe, causing alignment problems and strain or pain in your feet, knees, bottom, lower and upper back.” Long-term, this can cause plantar fasciitis (heel pain and inflammation), or Achilles tendonitis (pain along the back of the leg near the heel caused by overuse). Traditional canvas sneakers or tennis shoes aren’t much better. “Just remember that canvas sneakers are not sports shoes, so they should not be used for exercise,” Baird says.
Stilettos vs Wedges
High heels make an outfit pop, “But they tilt your pelvis forward, changing your gait and increasing pressure on joints and on the forefront and toes of your foot,” Baird explains. Wedges also change your posture and the way you walk, but put less strain and pressure on your feet.
“If you must wear heels look for a wider wedge that’s not too high and doesn’t taper in the middle and for high heels, choose a wider heel for more foot support,” Baird suggests.
Slides vs Thongs
This one’s a draw. According to podiatrist Silvia Arroyo, slides are comfy but awful for your feet – there’s nothing holding them on, which means your toes constantly claw to grip the base; this can lead to foot, knee, hip and back issues. Thongs are not much better support-wise, plus they leave your feet exposed – you might as well say ‘ouch’ now for all the potential cuts or scrapes awaiting you. For both, look for a thicker sole and wider toe strap, which will typically provide more arch support.