I'm a podiatrist – these are the three shoes I'd never wear

I’m a podiatrist – these are the three shoes I’d never wear

  • Flip flops are one of the worst things you can put on your feet, experts say
  • High heels and a popular US trainer also made one podiatrist’s red list

They’re a summer staple and beach favourite.

But flip flops are one of the worst things you can put on your feet, according to one expert.

They can force the toes to grip onto the shoe with every step, leading to painful foot conditions over time, says podiatrist Paul Macaulay.

The Singapore-based expert shared the three pairs of shoes he’d never wear on TikTok, with high heels and a popular US trainer also making his red list.

Also known as slippers and thongs, flip flops are a summer staple. But Mr Macaulay said he would never wear them

Flip flops

Also known as slippers and thongs, flip flops are a summer staple. 

But Mr Macaulay said he would never wear them.

‘When you put your foot through the loops, you have to grip for the shoe and that can cause claw toeing.’

This is when the joints in the toe bend like a claw and become inflexible. Poor-fitting shoes are one of the main causes. 

The constant gripping of the toes, due to wearing flip flops, can also lead to tendonitis — when a tendon swells and becomes inflamed, causing pain and stiffness.

READ MORE: Trendy hard floors could be to blame for your foot pain (and there is a simple way to stop it)

For those who do switch to hard floors, Helen Branthwaite recommends a period of acclimatisation before going barefoot, reducing the amount of foot support gradually over six to eight weeks

‘Also, when you’re walking down the street, it’s very easy to trip and fall when you’re wearing them,’ Mr Macaulay said.

‘They don’t offer your feet any support,’ he added.

Having poor support for the heel and arch of the foot can lead to painful and swollen feet and can even cause problems with the hips and knees. 


They’re known for not being the comfiest shoe.

But high heels may not only cause temporary discomfort.

Mr Macaulay advised not wearing them due to their risk of injury.

‘I don’t want to hate on all heels because a one-and-a-half inch heel is okay for most people,’ he said. 

‘But stilettos — such a thin base — actually my colleague has fallen recently and broken her foot, so it’s such a high risk of injury is worth it, even to look nice?’

Studies have shown that wearing high-heeled shoes increase the risk of injuries, musculoskeletal pain and bunions — bony limps that form on the side of the feet. 

And those that have a narrow, pointed toe force the foot into an unnatural V shape, which can cause deformities over time, experts say.


The US trainers have been around for more than three decades and cost around £60.

But Mr Macaulay said he doesn’t like Skechers.

‘These slip on ones are made tighter to hold onto your feet, so can squeeze your toes and cause problems like neuromas.’

Neuromas is a thickening of tissue around a nerve in the foot that’s been irritated or damaged. 

The condition, which is linked to wearing tight, pointy or high-heeled shoes, can cause shooting, stabbing or burning pain or feel like there is a pebble under the foot.

Mr Macaulay also warned that Skechers are ‘so soft, your foot has to do more work’.

This can leave feet feeling comfortable during the day, but actually leave them more tired compared to wearing more supportive shoes.

‘The final thing is, the shoes just don’t last long,’ he claimed.

‘They wear out so quickly and even though they seem like it’s a great deal, you’re just replacing your shoes every sort of one to two months and I just don’t think that’s very good.’

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