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Risk of Foot Pain Associated With Footwear Type

Last Updated: October 01, 2009.

Women who wear shoes that are of suboptimal design for feet are significantly more likely to report hindfoot pain than those who wear good shoes, according to a study in the Oct. 15 issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

THURSDAY, Oct. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Women who wear shoes that are of suboptimal design for feet are significantly more likely to report hindfoot pain than those who wear good shoes, according to a study in the Oct. 15 issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

Alyssa B. Dufour, of the Boston University School of Public Health, and colleagues analyzed data from the Framingham Study on 3,378 people who underwent foot examination in 2002 to 2008. The examination elicited information on foot pain and current and past shoewear habits. The researchers categorized the shoe choices, selected by subjects from a list, as good, average or poor.

Women who wore good shoes were 67 percent less likely than those who wore average shoes to report hindfoot pain, an association that remained after age and weight were taken into account, the researchers found. Less than 2 percent of the men reported wearing bad shoe types, and there was no association between type of footwear and foot pain in men, the investigators discovered.

"Past shoewear in women is associated with hindfoot pain, regardless of age or weight," the authors write. "Thus, young women should make careful choices regarding their shoe type in order to potentially avoid hindfoot pain later in life, or perform stretching exercises to alleviate the effect of high heels on hindfoot pain."

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