Every spring/summer season, I am always dismayed to see ballet pump style shoes back in stores and online. The shops stock them in lots of pretty colours and styles – very tempting. It seems they are particularly popular with teenage girls. But please think about the following facts before you buy them. The damage they cause to your feet can be permanent!

Foot problems they may cause or at least make worse:

  • Bunions – Hallux Abducto-Valgus – a deviation of the big toe joint resulting in a bony protrusion, often causing friction on footwear and pain in the joint
  • Morton’s Neuroma – an inflammation of a nerve found between the toes
  • Claw toes – where the toes appear curled – in turn often leading to corns
  • Ankle Equinus – limited movement in the ankle
  • Metatarsalgia – inflammation of the ball of the foot
  • Plantar Fasciitis – heel pain, especially first thing in the morning
  • Callus – a build-up of hard skin
  • Ankle injuries
  • Knee, ankle, hip and/or back pain
  • Pain and wear-and-tear to the big toe joints
  • Fallen arches (pronation)
  • No protection in cold weather – chilblains

So why are they bad for your feet?

  • They are too flat.  To keep them on, the foot has to be clawed and the ankle stiff
  • No shock absorption on our hard walking surfaces
  • Too flimsy. There is no support so joints, arches, ligaments and tendons are constantly under stress
  • Unstable
  • No protection from the elements
  • A trip-hazard as they become stretched and difficult to keep on

So, this summer please remember, if you can roll a shoe into a ball, don’t buy them!

Lorna Pullman (Foot Health First)