Trendy shoes are the latest fashion for teenagers who just can’t resist grabbing a pair, but British experts have warned these stylish footwears could cause severe body pain in the future.
For parents, these shoes look pretty sensible as most have little or no heel, for instance, and they often have rubber soles. But behind the looks, there lies a long-term problems such as clawed toes, calluses, heel and knee pain, the experts said.
“You have one pair of feet and need them for life, and yet teenagers today are wearing shoes which don’t support or protect them,” said Emma Supple, podiatrist at Supplefeet in North London.
“We now have a whole generation who will run into huge health problems because of their footwear,” she was quoted as saying by ‘The Daily Mail’
Mike O’Neill, consultant podiatrist at the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists, said, “Teenage girls in particular are storing up massive problems because the shoes they are wearing are often too flat and unsupportive.”
According to the experts, teenagers are particularly vulnerable because foot bones continue to grow through adolescence - the bones are still soft so can be forced into unnatural shapes, rather like foot-binding in ancient China.
This changes their gait, leading to problems all the way up their skeleton, such as knee, hip and back pain. And as this generation is likely to live longer than previous ones, that could mean decades of discomfort, they said.
They pointed out that popular shoes with flat and elasticised sides don’t offer enough support for the foot, causing stain in arches, ligaments and muscles.
As the body’s weight shifts, the abnormal loading of pressure can lead to cramping pain in the foot, they said.
And because the foot is unstable, problems can then develop in the muscles and bones of the foot and extend up the leg into the spine, explains Neil Nevitt, podiatry team leader at Liverpool Primary Care Trust.
Another problem is heel pain. “You need a bit of shock absorption in heels,” explains Mike O’Neill. “But many of these shoes are so flat that the heel is raised 5 mm at most. The heel, which strikes the ground first, also becomes damaged and painful.” Mike added.