Flat shoes have a sterling reputation. After all, they don't raise you up uncomfortably like heels, and they are very flexible and can be worn to a variety of places. With these rave reviews, you'd be forgiven for thinking flats are without their flaws.

So, are flat shoes bad for your feet? Yes, especially the ones that provide little to no support, such as flip-flops. The issue with them is not just the lack of support, but what could result from the lack of support; plantar fasciitis and the likes.

Why Flat Shoes are Bad for Your Feet

There are a couple of reasons why flat shoes are not very good for your feet. Repeated use of flat shoes usually results in one or more of the following issues, which is why we are discussing them.

Fallen Arches: Wearing shoes that are too flat is a serious cause of fallen arches. It's basically leaving the arches to fight against gravity, coupled with the constant shock of the walking motion. If left unchecked, fallen arches rapidly progresses to plantar fasciitis and then tendon tears. This is why it is imperative that you get flat shoes that provide some level of arch support.

Plantar Fasciitis: This is related to fallen arches, and it's worse with thin soles. What happens is that the soles of the flat shoes are largely unsupportive, leading to the inflammation of the fascia. The fascia runs from the heel bone to the toes, and an inflammation can cause serious pain and is a bit difficult to manage.

Flat sandals or shoes that provide arch support are very crucial because of this risk, and should not be overlooked.

Ingrown Toenails: For this issue, ill-fitting ballet flats are the main culprits. If you wear a ballet flat and it bunches your toes together, this can lead to ingrown toenails.

This is a condition in which some parts of your toenails, usually the corners, grow into the flesh of your toes, instead of growing outward normally.

This can lead to internal infections that will spread to bones, and this can easily lead to health issues. This is why we advise that your toes have breathing room when you are wearing covered flats.

Lack of Shock Absorption: Flat shoes usually have a failing; they can't offer good levels of shock absorption, and because of this, problems like misalignment in the spine, the pelvis and the knee occur because the heel keeps taking every jarring impact of walking.

An accumulation of this event happens over time, and causes serious discomfort. At the least, you'll need multiple massages. At the worst, damage your fascia and inflame it, leading to plantar fasciitis.

As a result of these reasons, we advise that you get flats that offer you a good level of shock absorption.

What Alternatives can I Wear Instead of Flat Shoes?
The main problems with flat shoes is the typical lack of support for the feet, so picking a shoe in mind that harnesses the good bits about flat shoes whilst addressing their serious weakness is a good place to start.

In light of these, we would advise that you wear a low heeled shoe or a block heeled shoe. A low heeled shoe has very similar designs to a flat shoe, with the major difference being the particular design of the heel.

Unlike heels or pumps that focus more on elevation of the feet for aesthetic and fashion reasons, low heeled/ block heeled shoes are designed with a focus on providing support for the heel of your feet.

The compactness of the heels help to absorb a good portion of the shock that comes with walking, whilst also doing a lot better than flat shoes in providing arch support.

Does this mean I can't wear flat shoes anymore?
Actually, No. We are not discouraging you from wearing flat shoes, as they do have their good side. Our advice is geared towards you knowing about the dangers of using flat shoes as your primary footwear.

Flat shoes don't provide as much support as you need for your foot, so we advise that you stick to using them sparingly.

The Ball is in Your Court
Flat shoes are usually lauded for the balance they provide, especially as an antithesis to heels and pumps.

However, the extremely low level of support they give to your feet when you wear them are alarming, especially those with thin soles. This is why we have drawn your attention to this and given you a few pointers on why flat shoes are bad for your feet and what to do about it.