The Surprising Shoes You Should Ditch, From a Doctor


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If you’re going to be wearing your shoes all day, you might as well make sure they’re comfortable. There’s nothing worse than slipping on a cool new pair of heels only to find that you’re hobbling around in them 20 minutes later. Curious to find out the very best shoes for standing all day, we reached out to podiatrist Brian Dawson, DPM, for his expert advice.

While he admits that “it can be hard to make a sweeping generalization about shoes, since so much of it has to do with our personal biomechanics” and suggests that “anyone with chronic foot issues see a podiatrist for a full biomechanical exam,” he was able to offer some general rules to follow. The most surprising thing we learned is that flats and sneakers might not be as good for us as we thought. In fact, shoes with a low heel are the ones he recommends most.

Go on to find out more about his recommendations and why you might want to skip your ballet flats.


“Something with a low heel (one inch to one and a half inches), semi-rigid sole (none of those shoes you can bend in half like a ballet flat or Nikes) with cushioning that extends to the ball of the foot.”


“Any of the extremes! Ballet flats or high heels (over two inches). If you must, I'd highly recommend commuting in a more supportive shoe/sneaker, then switching to your work shoes at the office.”


“Flats tend to be very unsupportive with little protection/cushioning for our bones, and the more flexible a shoe is, the more work it forces our joints to do, which can lead to pain along the top of the foot. We may have tolerated that as cave people, but the human body in 2017 has evolved past the point of benefitting from being barefoot for the most part.

“High heels create a forefoot overload (excess pressure under the ball of the feet) and tend to crush the fifth (little) toe, causing hard, painful calluses over time. This also leads to structural deformities of the bones, like bunions and hammertoes, as well as a shortening of the Achilles tendon if worn daily for years. That said, a small heel (less than two inches) can be very helpful in treating/preventing common foot conditions like plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis.”

Now go on to shop for our favorite low-heel shoe styles—the best shoes for standing all day.

A modern classic.

Available in sizes IT35 to IT42.

Finished with faux-pearl details.

Available in sizes 5 to 11.

Wear these with everything from trousers to miniskirts.

Available in sizes 6 to 11.

The shoes of the season.

Available in sizes IT35 to IT40.

The perfect weekend shoe style.

Available in sizes 6 to 9.5.

We're predicting faille shoes will be everywhere.

Available in sizes IT36 to IT41.

Classic and cool.

Available in sizes 36 to 41.

Embellished with fur details.

Available in sizes 36 to 41.

We love the croc-embossed heel.

Available in sizes 35 to 40.

Pair these with a long dress.

Available in sizes 6 to 10.

We love the metallic silver.

Available in sizes 4 to 10.5.

Embellished with a bow detail.

Available in sizes 5 to 11.

Wear yours with jeans.

Available in sizes IT35 to IT41.

Sophisticated and modern.

Available in sizes IT35 to IT41.

We love the woven details.

Available in sizes 4.5 to 10.

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