There is a link between walking in high heels and flip flops ankle injuries. Especially when walking downstairs. But don’t think that the opposite is any better. Walking downstairs in flip flops is also a painful choice. This time in your lower leg instead of your ankle. Therefore, high heels and flip flops could be a bad idea.

High Heels and an Unsteady Gait

Research has looked into the effects of walking in high heels. Just walking down the street has a negative impact. You can develop blisters, bunions, backaches, and sprains. They may be in fashion, but is it worth the pain?

Specific studies looked at heels and walking downstairs. Balasubramanian, a graduate researcher, discovered that walking downstairs requires your heel to go down first. You then flatten the foot. And, next, use your toe to propel forwards.

When you have on heels, you’re unable to perform this motion. Women ended up with an unsteady gait. They land softer on their heels than normal. Then, the foot goes flat. In order to move forward, more force is then placed on the toe. This goes against the natural movement your foot performs on stairs.

Although the research wasn’t done on whether heels cause injuries. What they did find, however, is that an unsteady gait causes excessive muscle activity. This increases the risk of ankle and foot injuries. In comparison, when barefoot, women walk confidently and steadily.

The outcome of the research is that wearing heels should be limited. If you have foot injuries or back problems, this is especially important. When you do wear heels, keep them under 1-inch. And, go for chunky heels over stiletto types. However, flip flops are no better. 

Flip-Flops and an Abnormal Gait

Flop-flops are comfy and flatter than heels. But, they can also cause an abnormal stride. Studies show that when wearing flip-flops, people tend to strike the ground with less force.

This change in force can be linked to reports of altered gait, and increase lower leg pain. Ultimately this means you should forego heels and flip-flops. Stick with a supportive sneaker instead.

When checking your shoes, make sure the insole is intact, and the shoes are not worn out. Over time, they wear and lose resilience. This means you lose shock absorption and it is time for a new pair. When you choose a new pair, make a smart decision. Not a painful one.

So, high heels and flip flops link to painful problems. And it may be best to stay away from them altogether.

If you are experiencing foot and ankle pain, call us at 888-409-8006 for a preferred foot/ ankle surgeon. Locations throughout South Florida.