Katie Holmes in flats bad for your feet
Katie Holmes in flats. Photo credit: Saint Laurent by Bedi Slimane.

Ballet flats are usually thin, flat, very flexible and have no support for the arch of your foot. This means your calf muscles and the Achilles tendons in your heels must stretch more. Plus your toes must grip harder with every step you take. This can cause stress and pain on the ball of your foot, pressure point pains; and even stress fractures in the small bones in your feet.

  1. Choose a ballet flat with a firm “heel counter” – this is the plastic inset that is inserted at the back to reinforce a shoes heel area. A firm one stops your feet rolling around, which can cause corns, and strain in the muscles in side the feet and knees.
Flats, $129, from Pretty Ballerinas.

2. Look for a shoe that’s solid through the middle. With a firmer sole – you should not be able to easily twist the shoe into a figure of 8. Below shows an example of a flat that isn’t solid enough to support your feet.


3. Look for a slight lift or padding built into the sole, especially under the arch of your foot.

4. If you already have flats you love, ask your podiatrist or cobbler to insert a 4mm-6mm lift inside the flats to prevent pain.

5. Flats with ankle ties stay on more easily, so your toes do not have to grip as much.

Flats from Robinsons
Soludos flats, $129, from Robinsons.