4 Ways to Injury-Proof Your Shoes

By Ayren Jackson-Cannady

For every mile we log, we exert about 200,000 pounds of pressure on each foot. Here's how to injury-proof some of your favorite pairs.

Peep-Toe Shoes

The narrow shape can crowd toes, leading to a bunion (enlargement of the bone around the big toe) or hammertoes (when digits bend), says Marc A. Brenner, DPM, a podiatrist in Glendale, New York.

Sole Solution
Search for peep-toes that have a wider toe box. Hint: You should be able to wiggle your toes in various directions -- up and down and side to side.

Ballet Flats

With no arch support, your tootsies can expand, stretching their ligaments and causing pain and possibly heel problems, says Suzanne Levine, DPM, a podiatric surgeon in New York City.

Sole Solution
Before you buy, feel inside to make sure the bottoms have padding around the arch. No cushion? Slip in a pair of orthotic insoles for immediate comfort.

High Heels

Even a low heel (think one inch) can increase pressure on the bones in the balls of your feet by 22 percent, leading to blisters, corns, and calluses.

Sole Solution
Cushion the fronts of your heels with adhesive padding. Commute to work in your sneakers and change shoes when you get to the office.

Flip Flops

Since this footwear has zero arch support, the continuous gripping of your toes when you walk can cause hammertoes. Plus, ongoing exposure to dirt, sand, and heat radiating from concrete can lead to dry patches and calluses.

Sole Solution
Wear them no more than five hours at a time outdoors. Apply a moisturizer like H2O Plus Hand and Foot Smoother Retexturizing Seaweed Therapy ($20, h2oplus.com) twice a day to soften skin.

More from FITNESS Magazine: