The 13 Dangerous Footwear Trends of Todays Society - Paul Gough Physio Rooms

Clinic Update 28-05-2024: Due to long waiting lists on the NHS, physio demand in the North East is exceptionally high. Our appointments are limited due to the severe demand, please contact us as soon as possible.

Paul Gough Health Tips

"Almost Daily Health Tips From Physio Paul Gough..."

Use the Form Below to Get Them All Sent to You for FREE

The 13 Dangerous Footwear Trends of Todays Society

Here is a list of the 13 Most Dangerous Footwear tends of Todays Society, as revealed in the amazing book “The Healthy Habit”…:


1. High Heels

Wearing “high heels” will increase the pressure through your knees, hip and lower back about 10X more than ANY other type of shoes. Reverse that, and it means if you wear a nice soft cushioned pair of shoes that fitted to your feet properly instead, ALL your joints would be experiencing 10 times LESS pressure and stress forced upon them.

Imagine how much relief you’d feel if you could take that type of stress off of your joints right now? But please understand that it’s a cumulative effect. This pressure builds up from wearing the wrong footwear over a period of weeks and years and results in weak and stiff joints, somewhere around the age of 40- 45 and from then on in, degeneration and even early arthritis are inevitable.

2. Plimsoles

Proven to add to joint pain because there’s a lack of cushioning to absorb “shock” that occurs at your knees every time your foot lands. Think about how “thin” the sole of these types of shoes are and it’s not difficult to see why joints take a pounding and cause unhealthy and unwanted problems.

3. Loafers

Big problem with these is that they APPEAR to be comfortable and even seem to fit “snug” BUT they really don’t. And that’s dangerous to your joints because it means your foot, knee and hip joints, even your lower back joints, are moving around too much and joint surfaces will be constantly rubbing together.

This action of the joint surfaces rubbing together IS how degeneration sets in and why shoes such as loafers will add to early joint degeneration and arthritis.
7 Simple Ways… To Stop Chronic, Daily Annoying Knee Pain 5

4. Slippers

Closely linked to the reason why loafers aren’t too healthy, slippers also provide comfort on the base of your feet, but NO protection to the joints above. Wearing these means ankle joints can move FREELY and because slippers have NO real support or instep (if they did they wouldn’t be so comfy) meaning your foot rolls in, this stresses important ligaments, which eventually weakens and causes your knee joint to “roll in”, too.

If you are experiencing pain or an ache on the inside of your knee, and you always wear slippers around the house, now you know why. Doing so often, eventually adds stress to hip and lower back joints too.

5. Sandals

Many people suffer with “unexplained” joint and muscle pain when they go on holiday (or not long after they return). And it’s because they will often swap nice fitted shoes for comfy sandals that are loose in fitting and add a “different” stress to ankles, Achilles Tendons and knee joints.

Wearing sandals is the common cause of Achilles Tendonitis, even Plantar Fasciitis and can place much stress on a knee joint in a matter of weeks. Sandals appear to be comfortable, but are most certainly contributing to pain and tension of joints, if worn in the long term.

6. Stilettos

Likely to be the reason why so many ladies wake up with back pain or stiffness.
Wearing them alters your centre of gravity so that your lower back has to work harder, meaning muscles tighten and weaken.

When this happens regularly, joint surfaces begin to rub together, degeneration sets in and pain is inevitable. Not recommended if you want to avoid a lifetime of back trouble.

7. Men’s “Winkle Picker” Style Shoes

Harmful because of the “squashed” position that such shoes FORCE toes into.
And it’s like I mentioned earlier in the introduction, shoes with a narrow “toe box,” the shoe industry term for the front part of the shoe, can push and point your big toe “in” and create (or accelerate the chances of ) a bunion which is very painful and often requires SURGERY just to find ANY relief.

Such shoes can also constrict and squash the toes, resulting in what are known as “hammertoe deformities” and joints surfaces can RARELY recover meaning degeneration will set it. Worse, when the position of your toes and feet change, problems are inevitable in other parts of your body due to your walking pattern changing.

8. Wearing shoes that are too small

Sure, smaller fitting shoes may LOOK better and appear to be more “fashionable” but the damage doing so does to toes is untold. Bunions are caused by such poor fitting footwear, often requiring surgery to find relief and other toes end up “screwed” up (and squashed) if feet are forced into ANY shoe that is too small.

9. “Cowboy” style boots

Not great for foot and ankle joints due to the lack of support and cushioning, but the real (hidden) problems come at a persons lower back… when trying to take them off!
That’s right, these types of shoes are so difficult to remove that it places lots of unnecessary stress on your back and in an instant can cause joints to come out of position and get stuck in a way that means surfaces are more likely to rub together – the root cause of something like Spinal Stenosis which is a long term, chronic back condition that is very life limiting. Such shoes are also the cause of “acute” and regular short-term back ache.

10. “Fake” Ugg Boots

They may look nice, even appear to feel nice, but if they’re cheaper than the original for a reason. And it’s likely to be that vital cushioning and arch support is missing. Take one look down at ANY person wearing these types of shoes and you’ll soon see for yourself the stress that is added to feet.

But what most people don’t know is that because of this awkward flat footed position, knee joints and hip joints are also stressed.
Not long afterwards, so to the unsuspecting lower back joints.

11. Running with trainers that are 6 months old (and more)

If you’re a regular runner it’s tempting to think that the shoes you run in are okay and fit “just nicely” because you’re not experiencing any discomfort – yet.

The problem is that once trainers tip the 6 month old mark and you’ve ran in them even for as little as 10K per week, they are now NOT giving you the support you need.

Better and more advisable to change them BEFORE you experience things like ankle, knee hip or lower back pain.

12. Choosing running shoes that “look” better than they fit

Another common trend that is dangerous, is for runners to buy “fashion” trainers that match their outfit. Some of the more popular sports companies produce very comfortable and slick looking clothes, but are not able to offer trainers which are right (meaning “safe”) for running in.

Often the big manufactures who generally offer “everything for runners” aren’t able to customise specific trainer types. Most brands are either perfect for “pronators” or “supinator’s”. You’d be better off finding a specialist running manufacturer and accepting that although the shoes may not match the “gear”, you’re running in, you are going to be healthier for doing it.

13. Pump/ballet

It’s NOT advisable to spend any more time than is necessary in these types of shoes. Similar to the problem of “plimsoles” and “pumps”, which offer little cushioning, these offer even LESS. And so joint pain is inevitable.

Worse, they’re much like slippers in that the foot is VERY free to move around and therefore problems are multiplied and the consequences are likely to be early onset arthritis in any number of joints.

More About The “One Simple Change You Can Make To What You ADD To Your Shoes To Protect You From Severe Joint Pain, Unwanted Muscle Tension and Early Onset Arthritis”…

Please let me introduce you to “Prescription Foot Orthotics”.


I’ve been recommending them to my clients for more than 11 years now and I’ve seen from first hand (and very close up) how such “foot orthotics” can really add HUGE value to any person’s quality of life and rescue ill health.

Even more so, if that person is aged 45 + and is serious about protecting their health. Wearing them will, in many cases, allow that person to wear ANY shoes they want, safe in the comfort that joints are being protected whilst their favourite footwear is still being worn and they remaining active.

Herein, I will provide a brief (and simple) introduction to Prescription Foot Orthotics

Background, Q & A, Myths And Facts Of Prescription Orthotics

Okay, so what is a true custom orthotic? A true custom orthotic is one that matches your foot’s arch height (with modifications), width, and of course, length. The shell should be up to your metatarsal heads (3/4 length) with the heel cupped perfectly around.

True custom orthotics are made ONLY when a laboratory receives an impression of your foot – ideally from a 3-d laser scanner (I recommend a “Lab” in London). Beware of orthotics that claim the foot “moulds” to the orthotic. Orthotics that are heat activated and “copy your foot”, are scams. Other scams are flexible orthotics that flattens out the moment you wear them.

It is true your foot needs to flex, but using very flexible materials does not give desired results.

The reason flexible material is used is because the client doesn’t think to complain because the orthotics causes no discomfort yet their original symptoms usually persist.

Orthotics should have some rigidity to them. Remember, the whole point is to provide support. Soft materials will just collapse.

In reality a custom orthotic changes the way your foot reacts during the walking cycle.
When first wearing orthotics, discomfort is usually felt because your foot
is being forced into a more natural or “neutral” position. People who need orthotics usually have something wrong with their arch.

Eventually your feet adapt to the change and the discomfort goes away (including the original symptoms such as your knee, hip or back pain etc…).

One of the first questions I get when I recommend orthotics is:

“Why are my orthotics are more expensive than the ones you could go out and buy in somewhere like a pharmacy”.

Simply put, those“off the shelf”types are likely to be just plain old inserts and are generic. They’re made for “everyone and anything”. No thought, time or effort has gone in to the precision making and matching them up to an individuals needs and desires.

An orthotic, a corrective device worn inside a shoe, can help the muscles, tendons and bones of your feet and lower legs function without you suffering from pain and or stiffness. Custom-made orthotics are manufactured from a 3-D image of your foot (from a laser scanner) using raw materials.

When appropriately prescribed to treat a medical condition and custom-made (read: for you), orthotics can decrease pain, not only in your feet, but more commonly in other parts of the body, such as your knees, hips and lower back.

The term “orthotic” can refer to almost any device that is worn inside a shoe. Items called “orthotics” are readily available from Specialist Physios, podiatrists, chiropractors and other medical professionals.

Rarely however, are true custom orthotics available in many places, and most definitely not in shoe stores, in retail stores and even pharmacy’s.

There are three very different types of “orthotics” – custom, customized and off- the-shelf. There is a confusing amount of information available on orthotics and for many consumers making an informed decision is difficult.

So What Exactly Are Prescription/Custom Orthotics?

Prescription Foot Orthotics ARE the most accurate custom functional foot orthotics and are made from non-weight bearing moulds of your feet (but you don’t need a note from your doctor to have one).

They are designed to control alignment and function of your foot in order to treat or prevent injury-causing force on bones, joints, tendons and ligaments. Often they are used to limit motions such as excessive pronation (rolling-in) and excessive supination (rolling-out).

They also act to make activities such as running, walking – even standing – more efficient. What’s more, they can act to redistribute pressure on the bottom of the foot to relieve pain from excessive pressure or calluses.

How Do Custom Foot Orthotics Work?

This is a very detailed subject and too much to get in to here. But in general, most physical pain such as the back, ankle, hip or knee, is the result of a faulty relationship between the bones and muscles of the foot. Even the slightest misalignment can result in significant discomfort.

This abnormal function can result in problems such as bunions, hammertoes, arch and heel pain, corns, knee pain … even back pain.

The function of custom orthotics is much more than an arch support. Wearing the right orthotics realigns the structures of the foot and leg to prevent bone mal-alignment as well as muscle, tendon, and ligament fatigue. They are often used after surgery too, to help stop the recurrence of foot deformities.

As your foot rests on a properly constructed custom orthotic it is gently and consistently directed into the correct position (or at least a better position) for walking, running, and standing. Because your foot is now functioning properly, the pain of muscle strain and pressure points is relieved, and the progression of deformities is often stopped or slowed.

So What Is Involved In Producing Custom Foot Orthotics?

The most important factor in designing foot orthotics that will provide optimum lifestyle prosperity (and health) is an orthotic prescription based on a thorough examination by an experienced and knowledgeable medical practitioner.

I cannot emphasise this enough. The “pre-fitting consultation” should include a complete bio-mechanical assessment and a look at how you walk and MUST include a comprehensive FULL BODY check.

Because chances are it’s not your feet where you’ve got the pain.And so if you’re going to make changes down there (at your feet), the person doing it has to be sure how it’s going to effect everything else above it i.e. your knee, hip, back etc.

How To Get Closer To Protecting Your Joints…

If you’d like to talk to an experienced Specialist Physiotherapist about the possibility of you wearing Prescription Orthotics and decide for your self if they will add value to your health, like it does so many other people, then please call this number: 01429 866771 and request a FREE non committal, no obligation Telephone Consultation.

Alternatively, if you are confident that you wearing Prescription Foot Orthotics is the right move for you to make next, then you can also use this same number to arrange a “pre-orthotics fitting” consultation that will allow you to pick the perfect fitting orthotics… ones that are just right for you.

Please use this number 01429 866771.

Fitting can take place at various North East locations.

Paul Gough
Share This