Selecting the right summer footwear to protect your feet

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Warm weather also means cool, easy shoes like sandals and flipflops. However, choosing the wrong ones can cause painful feet and serious foot conditions down the road. So many foot conditions are worsened by improper shoes: bunions, arthritis, stress fractures, and flatfeet.

Dr. Kamran Hamid, an orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon from Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, stopped to give advice on how to stay stylish and also protect our feet.


- No support at all
- Can worsen the pain from arthritis and flatfeet
- Slippery when wet, potentially resulting in injuries
- Try versions with more sole support, proper fit and a textured bottom

High Heels
- Toe problems like bunions and hammertoes
- Can squeeze foot together and push on nerves, known as Morton's Neuroma
- High risk for rolling ankle and causing sprain or fracture

There are ways to wear high heels:

- Wear for special occasions/moderation
- Use sneakers during your commute
- Don't wear heels on your days off
- Alternate heels with flats.
- Wear 2-inch heels or lower. Find heels with wide toe boxes. Re-sole the heels with thicker rubber to provide extra comfort and reduce slippage.
- Avoid certain styles. Very high heels (often stilettos) can cause pain in the ball of the foot. Pointy-toed heels will cramp the toes.
- Choose wedges which give height without the same arch angle.

- Trendy for men
- No forward support
- Toes gripping the edge change the way you walk

- Can cause pain on the bottom of your feet

Ballet flats
- cute and popular
- No arch support
- Can worsen plantar fasciitis and fallen arches

Running shoes
- Old shoes lose support and don't cushion/absorb the impact
- Can cause stress fractures, knee pain
- Get proper fit for wide/narrow feet, good arch support, etc.
- Get new shoes every 500 miles
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