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Health Tips: Ballerina Flats and Your Feet

Oh the shoes...my husband wonders why women are so into shoes and I wish I could explain why we love them so much. Why they somehow seem to be the answer for all that ills us. Some ladies think that flats are the healthy answer to heels, but that is not necessarily the case.

While ballerina flats don't compromise your posture the way high heels do, they don't really help your feet out too much. They provide little if no support for the complex system that is your foot. There are 26 bones in the foot, as well as 2 distinct arches that not only help you balance, but that work as shock absorbers as well.

Most flats are very flat and provide little or no cushion for the bottom of your foot, which can be almost as rough as going barefoot. I have rarely tried on a pair of flats that have arch support, which is really important to keep you feet happy.

Fit's Tip: I wear Spenco arch supports in all my shoes. I wear the 1/2 in flats. I take the arch supports with me when I go shoe shopping. Sometimes the shoes just don't work with them and I have to pass those shoes up (which can take a lot of will power, but shoes that hurt my feet will not get worn). Sometimes I just have to buy shoes a 1/2 size bigger than usual. Check 'em out ladies...I think there is a happy medium between cute shoes and supported feet.

Join The Conversation
kirstennichole kirstennichole 9 years
i wear barefeet so flats dont really feel uncomfortable to me... is that unhealthy?
JessNess JessNess 10 years
*orthodics
JessNess JessNess 10 years
IlovemyGeek- you may want to look into orthotics. They basically make an insert for your shoes that supports your arch. The insert is custom made and modled to your foot. I have some because my flat feet displace my knees. They really make all the difference
IlovemyGeek IlovemyGeek 10 years
I have big flat Fred Flintstone feet and have a hard enough time finding shoes as it is. Since I broke my ankle last year, I still cannot wear heels. Thank goodness for Rocket Dogs though, they're super cute and they have lot of flat styles that keeps my ankle from hurting. I can't do arch support shoes though since I have none LOL and they kill. I pronate the opposite way. My shoes wear out on the outsides first.
caitlinp86 caitlinp86 10 years
I have flat feet and need to wear orthodics, flat shoes are cute, but not great for my feet!
foX1 foX1 10 years
i've had my eyes on those dior western leather ballerina flats ...forever!!!!! $395 a bit too much.. :( this entry just rubbed it in my face! lol.. thanks for the good info! :)
kscincotta kscincotta 10 years
I've had arch problems in the past, but I absolutely LIVE in ballet flats, and they've never left me with sore feet. I love them.
JessNess JessNess 10 years
meaning putting more weight on the inside of the foot instead of keeping the weight balanced on the entire foot. This can in turn affect how efficiently your legs (ankles, knees and hips) work. Doing exercises to increase the strength of your arches can help and stretching the outside of your claves. This is exactly what happened to me. I have very little arches and I ended up walking on the inside of my of feet which displaced my knees causing me lots of pain. I ended up having to go to physical therapy and I learned basic exercises to help my knees and strengthen my ankles. I also had to have custom made arch supports. I dont wear them all the time because they dont fit in all of my shoes. I always wear them in my sneakers though when I work out.
Fitness Fitness 10 years
muppets4dinner - Arch supports will help only when you are wearing them and you might need to experiment with different amounts of support. Flat feet is usually a sign of pronation, meaning putting more weight on the inside of the foot instead of keeping the weight balanced on the entire foot. This can in turn affect how efficiently your legs (ankles, knees and hips) work. Doing exercises to increase the strength of your arches can help and stretching the outside of your claves. If your feet give you serious trouble a visit to a podiatrist might be in order.
mangopassion mangopassion 10 years
yeah yeah I know "shoe cobbler"... hehe. That's the name of the store and they repair shoes and sells shoe stuff, so I don't know what else I would call them. They are in my local mall here in Michigan. The ones I found are a simple leather insert you can cut to fit in any shoe. They are nice because they don't have the thickness of the foam or gell ones.
Butrfly4404 Butrfly4404 10 years
Shoe cobbler...do they have one of those at Target? LOL...Seriously, though, NO IDEA where I'd find one! (In Unison: Try the Internet, Butrfly!) When I went to "Foot School" (aka shoe-store training), the first thing they teach you is that being bare foot is the best for your feet. But when you wear things that make you hold your foot a certain way, like flip-flops (and maybe ballerina flats - i'm so OUT I've never owned a pair), it pulls on the muscles in your feet but doesn't give you support on the rest. I can't wear stuff like this because I feel like I'm wearing socks or something. I have a huge irrational fear of cutting my foot open.
Meearya Meearya 10 years
I have flat feet too. When I was in my early teens, I was forced to have orthodox inserts made for my shoes, which was no big deal (and actually a really enjoyable process, like a foot massage by a trained and professional food doctor!) But I am a total flip flop and sandal fanatic, and the process of going from wearing the inserts in the winter and not wearing them in the summer, I would go through some serious back pain. In the end, it wasn't worth it. I gave up on the inserts and really have no problems. I think it was another incident where a doctor made me believe that I NEEDED unecessary treatments. Also, I wear Ballerina flats all the time, and my feet are fine. Although, living in New York, whenever I do any serious walking (like on my commute) I wear my Puma Speedcats. It's just practical.
mangopassion mangopassion 10 years
Muppets- I have pretty flat feet too, I got some low-profile arch supports from the shoe cobbler in my area. I also have big feet so finding shoes a half size larger is sometimes tough, but I agree with fit- the arch supports make a big difference.
MuppetsForDinner MuppetsForDinner 10 years
Sadly, I have really flat feet. Will arch supports give me back my arches? I've tried them once and they killed my feet... maybe I was just using a lousy kind?
Sweet-Adeline Sweet-Adeline 10 years
Ladies, wear the arch supports now, for orthotics may be in your future or even heel spurs, known as plantar fascia.
kendallina kendallina 10 years
I have really high arches that definitely get sore if I'm in flats all day.
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