We’re all beyond over the idea that beauty equals pain. Right? As a result, when it comes to fashion—footwear specifically—the style pendulum continues to shift toward shoes that are stylish and comfortable. You’ve likely noticed or currently partake in this change yourself, embracing the pain-free life with sleek kitten heels and forward sneakers.
But there’s a catch when it comes to the latter specifically. While it’s brilliant in theory to bop around in cool trainers as opposed to stilettos, there’s one seemingly comfy on-trend sneaker silhouette that may be the worst for your feet, causing long-term painful effects. And we went straight to the expert—Gotham Footcare founder Miguel Cunha—to weight in further.
When chatting about footwear styles that should actually be avoided, he called out sock sneakers. “While they may feel comfortable snugging the top of your foot, they’re not advisable shoes because they provide no support to the top and outside of your foot, which can easily lead to an ankle sprain,” he explained. Woof.
But hope is not lost—there are still plenty of other sneaker styles out there that offer more stability and support. On that note, we’re showcasing some visual inspiration and a range of these picks below. And if you’re still all about sock sneakers and want to risk it, just be very, very careful.
While athletic sneakers will always be a better option, dad sneakers do stabilize the ankle more and feature a wider toe box to prevent other issues like ingrown toenails.
“Throwback” Walking Sneakers
Great news that ’90s-style influences are surging, because those old-school throwback sneakers are better for your feet than others thanks to the cushioning and non-constricting toe box.
Super-chunky sneakers can get heavy on the feet and cause pain, but a silhouette that has a slightly thicker sole will have greater traction to reduce injuries.
Athletic sneakers–like those from Nike and New Balance—will always be your best bet because they’re designed for an active lifestyle cushioning and support.