Summer footwear: What you should and shouldn't wear

Picking the perfect shoe for our very imperfect feet is not easy according to Cleveland clinic podiatrist Dr. Joy Rowland. 

Flip flops, heels and flats - summer shoe choices are endless.  But what are the perfect shoes for your feet day-in-and-day-out?   

"The perfect shoe is not the perfect for you and it's not the perfect shoe for me," says Dr. Joy Rowland. "We all have a different foot type, different body types, so, wearing the perfect shoe is just not perfect, so mixing it up a little bit, different shoe types, different shoe styles is important."

There's a time and place for every shoe, but Dr. Rowland says some shoes deserve more of your time. 

Flip flops are loved by many for their summer wardrobe but the doctor says save those for the beach or pool.  Ballet flats are popular but not the best option for long-term wear, like a day of shopping or sightseeing. 

Wearing flat, non-supportive shoes regularly may lead to knee, hip and back pain, Rowland explains. 

Slipping on heels every day may be problematic too. Wearing the same heel height can cause the back of your leg and achilles tendon to get tight.  

Rowland says pointy stilettos are really the worst shoes to wear. If you switch from heels to flats and get foot cramping, that can be a sign that muscles are too tight, stretching can help with such problems over time. 

So how can you save your feet this summer and for the days to come?

Rowland shares a piece of her doctorial advice and says: "Sometimes we even recommend that they take their toes and they draw out the letters of the alphabet before they get out of bed and that will help not only the achilles but also all of the small intrinsic muscles of the foot."


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