Published On: Mon, May 26th, 2014

10 Shoe styles to kick to the curb

Designer-brand-high-heeled-shoesOur feet put up with a lot of strain and pain, and even the fanciest pedicure can't hide everything. But shoes can, so why dress your feet in less than flattering uncomfortable footwear?

While we're suckers for footwear, we recognize that not all shoes are friendly to the feet, or to the eyes for that matter.

Of course there are some shoe styles that should be kicked to the curb. If you're devoted to any of these culprits, don't fret - we're all guilty of a fashion faux pas. Consider this a footwear intervention and start planning your trip to the shoe store for a less offensive replacement!

Below are the top 10 shoe styles to bid adieu to:

Plastics Clunkers: Colorful plastic shoes might be cute on kids but they're flat out goofy on adults. Water-proof mold-resistant vegan shoes have been cropping up everywhere. They're fine for a day of boating or fishing, or even working in the kitchen-things they were meant for-but they have spread beyond slippery decks. These chunky, clunky fashion foes instantly dress down any look, and suck out all air of sophistication or class. We support the pursuit of comfortable footwear but these slip-ons are better left on the shelf.

Staggeringly High Stilettos: Ultra high heels can cause back pain and muscle strain, not to mention corns, calluses and bunions (so not sexy!). We'll never tell you to give up your Jimmy Choos or Louboutins altogether-sky-high heels are a fashion staple for many-a-stylish woman-but consider the potential damage such seriously high heels are doing to your body. If you spend long days on your feet, consider reserving super-high heels for evenings when you will be doing little more than sitting on a bar stool looking like a million bucks.

Fleece-Lined Boots: These frumpy winter boots have a tendency to get worn year-round with everything from winter coats to super-short jean shorts. Sure, they'll keep your feet warm in the winter, and maybe keep you on your toes when treading ice, but at what cost? With so many cute, sexy, stylish boots available this season, why settle for this rather played-out style?

Gladiator Sandals: What was fine in moderation has exploded into an epidemic of mythological proportions! Like the previously mentioned fleece-lined boots, the main problem with gladiator sandals is that they have become too ubiquitous. and when the straps get so complicated that it takes 15 minutes just to slip into your casual summer wear, you know your footwear has gone the "costumey" route.

Cheap Flip-Flops: They are the ultimate in casual easy-to-wear summer slip-ons. But these inexpensive little rubber sandals offer zero arch support and no protection for your poor battered tootsies. We know you're saving some cash in terms of summer footwear, but consider the long-term trade-off in healthcare costs. Unless you want to help finance your podiatrist's summer home, say goodbye to cheap plastic flip-flops year-round.

Platforms for Kids: Some women have trouble walking around in platforms, so why put a kid through the same torture? While they may seem like a cute idea-particularly for celebrity moms who love to dress up their darling kids for the camera-your little girl is much better off in a pair of classic Mary Janes or sneakers. Save the platforms, high heels and backaches until they have at least 16 candles on their birthday cake.

Super-Flat Ballet Flats: Nothing is cuter than a pair of black ballet flats paired with skinny jeans and a striped tee (can you say, Audrey Hepburn chic?). But too many days spent in super-flat ballets can do just as much damage to your body as sky-high heels. Super-flat shoes that offer no arch support leave you at risk for fallen arches, bunions and a host of other podiatry nightmares. Instead of stocking up on cheapo ballet flats, find a pair that offers a sturdy sole and sufficient arch support. Your feet (and your hips and back) will thank you for years to come.

Leather "Hippie" Sandals: While we support giving peace a chance, we can't get on board with these style-less stalwarts. Much like those plastic clunkers that we so vigorously oppose, leather strapped sandals-the kind with the "cork" bottom-look like something best reserved for a day of gardening or a trip to the beach (preferably when no one is looking). With all of the stylish, fashionable vegan and eco-friendly footwear available, there's no reason to turn to these tired old soles.

Get-in-Shape Shoes: These peculiar looking shoes promise to help you get a firm butt, toned calves and solid abs without going anywhere near a gym - and there's nothing wrong with that. But may we humbly suggest that you relegate these shoes to fitness time only. Resist the urge to wear them when running errands or (eeek!) out on a date. Not only does the chunky heel make them less than sleek, they're also pretty tipsy when worn for anything other than walking in a straight line. And while many women swear allegiance to these shoes, keep realistic goals in mind when using your "miracle" shoes!

Roller Skate Shoes: Popular among kids for years, even adults can grab a pair of these free-wheeling sneaks. But while it may seem like fun (Look ma, no hands) to zip around with wheels on your shoes, it's dangerous too.

Take it from the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. They published a study implicating skate shoes in elbow dislocations, broken hands and other orthopedic injuries. They should come with a warning label: "Helmet, knee pads and wrist guards not included." To be safe, skip these shoes and go straight to the roller rink!

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