If you find your feet and calves are in pain after a long day at work, you may just shrug it off to spending too many hours standing. However, your feet and calves may be trying to tell you something — because that pain could be a sign of osteoarthritis. If you have the following three shoes in your closet, you may want to visit your doctor to check if you have osteoarthritis, because these shoes have been shown to contribute to the degenerative condition.
Formally defined as any shoe higher than two inches, podiatrists and osteoarthritis experts agree that not only are these shoes bad for people with arthritis, but for anyone in general. “They’re hard on the arch and ball of the foot and can wear down joints,” says Bryan West, a podiatric surgeon based in Michigan.
Even more bad news for women who love their high heels, these shoes have actually shown to cause osteoarthritis. A study from a group of Stanford University scientists suggests that the strain of wearing high-heels of at least three-and-a-half inches can prematurely age knee joints and could contribute osteoarthritis.
Moral of the story — it’s best to leave those high heels on the sale rack and find a more comfortable shoe.
Depending on the structure of the shoe, some ballet flats can be more supportive than others. According to West, a good pair of ballet flats need cushioning, arch support and shock absorption. If the shoe can easily bend, it won’t be good for your feet because the lack of support can stretch ligaments and tendons all the way up to your knee.
Clogs and Mules
Regardless if you have osteoarthritis or not, these European-inspired shoes don’t have a back to support your heel, and your feet and toes will strain themselves to stay put. Over time, this can lead to deformities to your feet and toes, but more specifically to your arch. Not only that, but most clogs and mules have heels that puts stress on your knees as well.
“Clogs aren’t good for people with osteoarthritis because they place high loads on the knee,” says Najia Shakoor, MD, a rheumatologist and a professor of medicine at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, in an interview for Everyday Health. Because clogs and mules aren’t very shock absorbent, your knees will be taking on the blunt of the weight.
However, there are some select clogs and mules that may be suitable for daily wear. According to New York City podiatric surgeon Jacqueline Sutera, an associate of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, clogs or mules with a rubberized sole, a closed back and heels lower than two inches won’t cause osteoarthritis.
Do you frequently wear these shoes? If so, think twice about wearing them again, and get yourself checked for osteoarthritis if you’re feeling constant pain.