Can Shoes Cause Ankle Pain?

Ankle pain is a major issue in your movement and daily activities. Do you feel your ankles hurt or swell after a long day? Medically there may be many reasons hidden in this pain. But, a common one is your shoes.

Many scientific studies prove it that a shoes can cause ankle pain due to severals reasons. Your shoes play a major role in this chronic pain among other factors. We need shoes that support the ankles and reduce joint, tendon, and muscle strain.

In this article, we will discuss how can shoes cause ankle pain and what’s the complicated link between shoes and ankle pain.

Ankle Anatomy and Function

Before we know about the reason how shoes can cause ankle pain. We need knowledge about how the ankles are shaped and how they work. This can help you to figure out why shoes cause ankle pain.

There are many bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles in the ankle joint. All these give us support and stability while walking, running, and other sports.

The ankle is a place where three big bones meet, shinbones (tibia and fibula) and a bone in your foot called the talus near your heel.

Our ankle lets our foot move in different directions (up, down, sideways). Around the ankle, there are strong bands called ligaments that hold our bones together. And tendons that connect our muscles to our bones.

However, our ankle does a lot of work every day. Sadly it also hurts easily, even just wearing the wrong shoes can cause big problems.

How Can Shoes Cause Ankle Pain?

Shoes have a significant impact on ankle working. A bad shoe can disturb the position of a foot and ankle and put stress on the ankle joints and the muscles. There are many reasons that shoes might cause ankle pain.

1- Lack of Arch Support

Good ankle shoes are important for ankle support. Those persons who have flat feet and high arches especially need to focus on their shoe selection. Flat feet slip inward and put pressure on the ankle joint and muscles. While high arches people’s foot posture can cause a lack of support. This can cause pain and stress.

2- Improper Cushioning

If your shoes don’t have enough cushioning features on the heel and arch area then each step can put more stress on your ankle. Over time, this stress can make your ankles swell and hurt.

3- Tight or Narrow Fit

Poor-fit shoes also can be a cause of ankle pain. If your shoes are too tight then they can pinch and hurt your foot. This move could cause cuts, friction, and joint pain.

However, if your shoes are too loose then your foot can slip. This unstable condition can cause your ankle to twist. For healthy feet properly fitted shoes are necessary.

4- Unsuitable Shoe Type

Some footwear may not be suitable for the ankle due to aesthetics or convenience. High heels put stress on the ankle and change body alignment due to their higher bases.

Long hour’s use of high heels can put stress on the Achilles tendon and leg muscles which can make the ankles stiff and painful.

Moreover, some shoe designs also affect your ankle. Like, flip-flops and ballet flats don’t support the ankles which makes your ankle unstable. If we do not provide proper support to our ankle then it could twist or roll and cause hurt.

5- Worn-Out Soles

Over time, shoe soles lose their support and cushioning which makes it difficult for a shoe to absorb shocks and spread weight evenly. All this poor system affects ankles by passing stress on them.

Support Your Ankle with Proper Footwear Choice

A wise selection of footwear according to your foot type and your needs can help to reduce ankle pain and improve overall foot health. Here are some quick guidelines that will help you to select appropriate shoes for your next purchase.

Shoe FeatureImportance for Ankle Support
Arch SupportProvides stability and reduces strain on ankle joints.
CushioningAbsorbs shock and minimizes impact on the ankle.
Firm Heel CounterOffers stability and prevents excessive ankle motion.
Secure Closure SystemEnsures proper fit and prevents ankle instability.
Adequate WidthAllows for proper alignment and reduces pressure on ankles.
Ankle SupportProvides additional stability and prevents sprains.
FlexibilityBalances support with natural foot movement.

Bottom Lines

Finally, shoes greatly affect ankle health and function. Wearing supportive shoes and concentrating on ankle stability can reduce ankle discomfort and injury. Listening to our bodies and choosing smart footwear may keep our ankles healthy and pain-free for years.

Supported Research on Footwear and Ankle Pain Connection by Pubmed Researcher1

  1. Impact of routine footwear on foot health: A study on plantar fasciitis ↩︎

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