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How Your Shoe Choice Affects Your Joint Health

  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Felicia Messimer
How Your Shoe Choice Affects  Your Joint Health

Footwear and Joint Pain

Many of us choose our footwear based on visual appeal alone. However, there's nothing appealing about joint pain. Learn more about how different shoe styles can impact your orthopedic health.

Steel-Toe Boots and Work Boots

Steel-toe boots and other work boots are designed to protect your toes and feet from external damage while on the job. While most safety-footwear will not be the most perfect and comfortable fit straight out of the box, it is important to pick the best shoe for you or you may suffer from joint pain and even damage to your toes, ankles, and knees.

When choosing the right boot for the job, it is important to consider the type of work you’ll be doing, as well as your individual footwear needs. These factors can determine the appropriate heel height, toe box width, and length, as well as the amount of support needed.

High Heels

According to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), about 49% of women wear high heels even though roughly 71% of those heel-wearers complain that elevated footwear hurts their feet.

While wearing high heels every now and then won’t cause significant damage, it is also important to consider the height of the heel. Wearing heels greater than three inches can cause a shift in your body weight, placing increased strain on the inside of the knees and balls of the feet.

Flat Shoes

While ultra-tall heels are often the culprit for joint pain, extremely flat shoes can also be to blame. When wearing shoes with no cushioning or support, you may be at higher risk for developing issues such as plantar fasciitis and nerve inflammation. It is recommended that you limit your time wearing ultra-flat footwear like flip-flops and sandals.

Read how WYOS can treat plantar fasciitis, The WYOS treatment for Plantar Fasciitis: TOPAZ micro-tenotomy

Bare-Foot Shoes

These shoes, with pockets for each toe, were designed to mimic the feeling of being barefoot while protecting your skin from debris on the ground. Many long-distance runners prefer the feeling of these shoes because they feel traditional running shoes alter their strides, causing ankle and knee pain.

While this minimalist footwear can help some runners, the lack of support and cushioning is not appropriate for everyone. Because your muscles are not used to this style of running, you may be at an increased risk of foot and ankle injuries when switching to this shoe.

More research needs to be done on this trend to determine the long-term effects of this style of shoe may have on the body.

Orthopedic Care in Gillette, Wyoming

If you have concerns when it comes to your orthopedic health, Wyoming Orthopedics & Spine (WYOS) is here to help in Gillette, Wyoming. We can evaluate your options so you can rest assured that you get the best possible outcome and are back to a happy and active life in no time.

Call WYOS at 307.686.1413 or visit to learn more.

  • Category: Campbell County Medical Group Family Medicine, Campbell County Medical Group Complex and Internal Medicine, Campbell County Medical Group Walk-In Clinic & Occupational Health, Campbell County Medical Group Wright Clinic & Occupational Health, Patient Care, Wyoming Orthopedics & Spine, Campbell County Medical Group clinic