Choosing Shoes for Maximal Fun at Summer Parades & Festivals!

This past weekend around Columbus was the 30th annual Pride Festival.  While there was a wide variety of unusual attire at this parade, shoes are one fashion accessory to choose carefully before heading out to any summer parade or festival.  While the look of the shoes may be of utmost importance to many fashionistas, choosing shoes that provide comfort can make your day much more enjoyable.

Summer means more shoe options including flip flops and a variety of other sandals.  Knowing which type of shoe is healthies twas a topic of a recent article on Oprah’s website and can help to make better choices when shopping for new shoes.  Surprisingly, ballet flat shoes were ranked as the most dangerous type of shoe.  Part of the reason for this ranking is that many people would consider a flat to be more comfortable and healthy for feet than a higher shoe and they then over-wear them.  A flat has as little arch support as the similarly dangerous flip-flop, but ballet flats also put pressure on the sides of the foot, the back of the heel and the tips of the toes.  Extreme lack of any arch support in flip flops or flats can lead to foot pain in individuals with flat feet or overpronation.  Because they do not enclose the entire foot, flip flops can give some relief to those suffering from the pain of bunions or calluses rubbing against shoes.  Both ballet flats and similarly structured flat styles of sneakers such as “Chuck Taylors” that do enclose the foot will not only aggravate these conditions on the sides of the feet and toes, but their rigid heel areas can cause a Haglund’s deformity.  In this condition, a bursa over the heel bone or calcaneus becomes irritated from being rubbed against and causes pain.

Of the elevated shoes discussed in the article, stilettos were not surprisingly chosen as the most dangerous.  A better choice for an occasion requiring a more formal shoe would be a wedge.  If the wedge has a cork or raffia sole, it will offer more shock absorption and thus can help prevent joint damage.  Wedges also offer slightly more stability than a stiletto, which can help to avoid ankle sprains.  While a properly fitted athletic shoe with adequate support will often be the optimal choice for foot health, wearing them at every occasion may not always be possible.  It is good to be aware and evaluate other shoe options to make healthy choices about your feet.  Orthotics can also be helpful in making an uncomfortable shoe more bearable!

Please visit for more information or call 614-885 FEET (3338) to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus Podiatry & Surgery is located on the North side of Columbus, Ohio near Worthington.

By Dr. Animesh (Andy) Bhatia