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Family Foot Care & Surgery, LLC

Are Your Shoes Causing You Heel Pain?

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Let’s be honest: we all love showing off a new pair of kicks. A fresh pair of running shoes can put a pep in your step, and there’s really nothing better than an extra inch or two of confidence that comes with a new pair of high heels.

But what if we told you that your shoes are the actual culprit for your heel pain?

Fashion isn’t the only factor you should take into consideration when buying new kicks. The comfort of your feet is just as important (if not more!).

Wearing shoes that lack in arch support or just don’t fit you properly can easily lead to heel pain over time. And if you have ever experienced this annoying condition, then you likely already know heel pain can keep you from doing the things you love most. Maybe you are now unable to be as active as you wish, or maybe heel pain is getting in the way of enjoying precious moments with family and friends.

The bottom line is that you need relief now! And your first step is taking a good look at your choices of footwear.

shoes causing your heel pain

Are Your Shoes Causing Your Heel Pain?

When it comes to maintaining foot health, wearing properly fitting shoes is a must.

This may seem trivial, but the truth is that ill-fitting shoes can cause an astounding amount of injuries to the feet, including heel pain. In fact, the overall structure and the biomechanics of our bodies are directly affected by our feet, and most foot problems usually stem from improper footwear.

This is true for all types of footwear; not just those we wear when attending special events. Even those pairs of office shoes, exercise shoes, and weekend-errand-running shoes? Yes, even those! They can all cause your heels to scream in protest if you are not careful. 

So, let’s look at the most common types of footwear, and how they can be affecting your feet.

Athletic Shoes

These are usually well-made and provide good structure and support for walking and participating in sports. However, heel pain can occur while wearing old athletic shoes that have a worn heel or sole, or that does not provide enough support.

To prevent heel pain, you should replace old shoes with excessive or uneven wear on soles and heels. You can test the support of the heel by pressing the sides of the sneaker together and making sure they do not collapse.

Ballet Flats

This type of footwear is extremely flat and usually doesn’t feature a real sole or arch support. Because of this, ballet flats can cause plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendon strain, calluses and an overall feeling of tiredness in the feet and legs.

To prevent heel pain, wear shoes with good support and structure, that don’t bend in the middle when the front and back of the shoes are bent toward each other. You should also keep in mind that these shoes are not designed for long-term wear, so avoid walking long distances when wearing them.


Though they are easy to wear and super convenient, flip-flops can lead to plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendon strain because they provide little support and allow excessive pronation.

You should avoid wearing this type of footwear if you are experiencing pain in your heels. But if you just must wear them, look for flip-flops that have an elevated heel of at least one inch, thicker midsole and a built-in arch support made of natural materials such as leather.

heel pain from shoes

What is the Best Footwear for You?

When shopping for footwear, look for shoes that fit well and comfortably as soon as you put them on. Do not purchase shoes that are too large or that slip in the heel area when you walk, and never buy shoes that are loose with the intention of wearing thicker socks to compensate for the space.

Here are some other factors you should keep in mind when buying new shoes:

  • Avoid shoes that are extremely flat. They allow excess pronation and stretching of the plantar fascia. Elevating the heel will help reduce pressure on the plantar fascia.
  • Choose footwear that provides good arch support. This will help prevent overpronation, provide support for flat feet, and help prevent heel pain.
  • Look for wedge-type shoes if you want that extra couple inches. Heel lifts and wedge-type shoes elevate your heels. This takes pressure off them and the plantar fascia.
  • Purchase good quality shoes and maintain them well. Replace them regularly once they are worn out.
  • Opt for shoes with a soft heel. You should also make sure they provide a minimum of one-inch heel height and a strong, stable mid-foot shank.
  • Try on your new pair of kicks when you get home. This will help ensure whether your shoes fit comfortably with normal activity.

We know that is a lot to keep in mind when shopping for a good pair of shoes. But your time and money will be wasted if you purchase a pair of shoes that are too uncomfortable for you to actually wear, anyway. That doesn’t even mention the heel pain that comes with it!

Need Help? We Are Here for You!

If you are still unsure of what is causing your heel pain, or if you have tried the recommendations for shoe gear for several weeks without significant relief, then it’s time to seek professional care for an accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment.

The good news is that we can help you with that! We are equipped with the best knowledge and tools available to accurately determine the root cause of your heel pain and effectively treat the condition.

Just give us a call to schedule an appointment at one of our two convenient locations:

  • Milford office: (203) 876-7736
  • Hamden office: (203) 288-4056


Or simply fill out our handy request form online to have one of our trained staff members reach out to you.

Dr. Sanjay V. Patel
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Dr. Patel has over 20 years of experience in the field of podiatric medicine and podiatric surgery.
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