Are Converse Shoes are Bad for your feet?

Everyone wears converse shoes or flat-bottoms these days– everyone who thinks he/she’s hip, trendy and young at least. I studied feet in these cloth-made, non-supportive shoes with hard flat soles on the train yesterday and came to this conclusion– they’re horrible for feet, especially tweens and teens who are still growing. They lead to over pronation of the foot, foot pain, and gradually, flat-feet.

First off, evolution has programmed us to walk on surfaces such as sandy beaches and terrain, bare-footed. Our feet were not programmed to walk on man-made concrete floors, or flat, hard surfaces. Adding injury to insult (of nature that is) we subject our feet to flat shoes and voila, our ankles hurt, our feet are deformed, and calluses form.

A foot takes a lot of abuse– a lot of ground reaction forces, pressure, and strain daily. You have to wear shoes that are comfortable and mold your feet. Anti-gravity rocker bottom shoes are the way to go, though if you overuse rocker bottom shoes like MBTs, Sketchers Shape Ups, you can get achilles tendonitis because you are overusing your plantarflexors and dorsiflexors. The secret to preserving your feet is moderation– don’t constantly wear Converse-like shoes and don’t always wear rocker bottom shoes. Kids, especially growing toddlers, should walk bare-footed from time to time. Flat-feet should be corrected early on with proper shoes and orthotics– because though we can get knee and hip replacements, we can’t get feet replacements (we can get prosthetics and ankle replacements, but those aren’t fun, now are they?)

17 thoughts on “Are Converse Shoes are Bad for your feet?

  1. Great post nummyz,

    I have to agree with using footwear in moderation. In sport people too commonly rely on shoes with arch supports and have a blind belief that they are beneficial. However there are studies to show that the arch of the foot can become dependent on the support, and weaken the structure.

    It is also important to note that converse shoes have a lack of shock absorbtion and over pronation of the foot from wearing them can lead to developing Osgood-Schaltters disease in children and Patella-tendonitis in adults.

  2. I am a teenager. I am by no means “popular” in the slightest, but I do love the look of Converse. However, I have femoral-patella syndrome, and I’d rather not mess my knees up further. I love walking barefoot whenever possible.

    And arch supports are not necessarily bad – part of the cause of my knee problems is walking with the weight on the inner edges of my feet, so arch supports are necessary for me to walk “correctly”.

    I wish I could wear Converse, but my knees are messed up enough without them. It sucks to be a teenager and already have screwy knees, which prevent me from being able to do most types of excersize for any amount of time.

  3. So, yes, I do have incredibly flat feet, average body size and physique, and am athletic. I’m about to purchase a pair of shoes (which is a huge several-years investment for me), and I’m considering getting Converse. Would it be helpful to purchase insoles, or avoid them? I have also been loyal to Vans’ typical skater-type shoe since high school (I’m now 22).

    • Your feet are already flat, I wouldn’t wear converses or vans alone. I would purchase some insoles or get fitted for foot orthotics if you have supple flat feet, meaning you can still form an arch. i would also suggest buying a good pair of Asics sneakers instead, they look cool and have gel cushioning. (you would need to research on which asics is the best for flat feet)
      they feel very comfy and my boyfriend swears by them

  4. Barefeet walking is best. Make all flat floors disappear if you can,
    but even there, barefeet is best.

    Flefixble and flat shoes are closest to barefeet. It improves muscles on your feet.
    You are not born with shoes on. You can’t feel floor or anything with cushioned, padded, stiff shoes.

  5. So let me get this right, you’re not a pediatrics, have zero professional experience and “studied them in a train”?! You can’t possibly mean you actually wrote a blog based on looking at someone’s feet while taking a train.

    This is the problem with the internet. Anyone who feels on writing a non-scientific article can confuse thousands with flat out stupid opinions based on a whim, thought or assumption.

  6. Well, I am not a podiatrist or a physical therapist but I can absolutely attest to the fact that what Nummyz is saying is correct. I have worn them everyday for years now. I have over one hundred pair in my collection and guess what….I am a 45 year old woman, so what I LOVED them and the way they felt on my feet until a year ago. I noticed I was having problems where I felt a sharp pain on the bottom of my foot. It felt like nerve pain shooting into my toes. This hurt immensely when I would stand barefoot and walk across the room. After awhile the shooting pain went away but I noticed a clicking feeling on the bottom of my foot, almost like a tendon snapping and it felt like I was walking on a rock at the ball of my foot. I also started having pain in my ankle and it felt sprained constantly. Diagnoses is Morton’s Neuroma and fallen arches from yep… beloved Converse tennis shoes. I had no foot problems at all before I started wearing Converse, my arches were just fine in my foot. This is just a forewarning for those that wear these shoes. If you are going to wear them, make sure you have inserts with good arch supports. Switch your shoes up, dont wear them all the time. So, your observations were correct Nummyz, thank you for the informative article.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s