These designer shoes can complement your outfit, however, shoes that don’t provide enough support can be detrimental to your foot health.

“Wearing sneakers can help relieve foot pain and pressure that can develop on the ball of the foot when women wear heels. Even for low-heeled shoes, sneakers can be a welcome change,” says podiatric surgery specialist Demetrios Econopouly, DPM.

Here are some of the ways sneakers can relieve foot pain:

  • Shop at the end of the afternoon. Your feet swell during the day, so if you buy sneakers early in the morning, they may be too tight to accommodate your feet in the evening. Bring the socks you will wear with the sneakers to better gauge the fit.
  • Meet your needs. How are you going to use your sneakers? If you are going to walk, opt for walking shoes, not tennis shoes or running shoes. Cross-trainers can be ideal if you play a variety of sports.
  • Think beyond numbers. Are you convinced you’re a size 8 for life? Your feet may get longer or wider over time. Periodically re-evaluate your shoe size, as you re-evaluate your pant size. Gravitating towards what you’ve always worn can damage your feet.
  • Watch out for the heel. For optimal support, sneakers should hug your heel comfortably. Don’t buy sneakers if your heel sticks out and never wear sneakers without a back. they won’t keep your foot stable and they can alter your gait, leading to problems.
  • Encourage leeway. Make sure you have room to wiggle your toes when lacing up the sneakers. otherwise, they will be too tight. And remember that sneakers shouldn’t be ‘run in’ – they should feel good when you try them on.
  • Be flexible. Some brands fit people differently, so feel free to try sneakers that are half a size or a size larger or smaller.
  • Consider outside help. Some people benefit from wearing insoles or orthotics, which can provide arch support, help minimize pain from plantar fasciitis, or solve other problems. If you plan to use insoles or orthotics, buy sneakers with removable insoles, so you can swap them out for your prescription or over-the-counter inserts.

    “Fortunately for people with foot pain, there are countless stylish sneakers on the market at all price points, so it’s always possible to make a fashion statement with your feet without sacrificing your foot health,” concludes Dr. Econopouly.

Next steps and resources: