If it isn’t one thing, it’s another. And this time, word amongst podiatrists is that though Crocs may be comfortable, they are actually bad for your feet when worn on a consistent basis.
Fashionistas everywhere already thought the “orthopedic” shoes were a crime against fashion, but it turns out foot doctors believe they’re a crime against overall foot health, as well.
“Unfortunately, Crocs are not suitable for all-day use,” says Dr. Megan Leahy, a Chicago-based podiatrist with the Illinois Bone and Joint Institute. “These shoes do not adequately secure the heel. When the heel is unstable, toes tend to grip, which can lead to tendinitis, worsening of toe deformities [like hammertoes], nail problems, corns and calluses. The same thing can happen with flip-flops or any backless shoes, as the heel is not secured.”
Crocs: An Unsupportive, Unhealthy Shoe Option
Even if Crocs did support the heel, some doctors say they still wouldn’t be considered a healthy all-day shoe option.
Dr. Alex Kor, the president of the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, says the popular shoes — which have been sold to over 300 million people in 90 countries — lack a shank, which is a supportive structure that rests behind the heel and toe, and runs underneath the arch of the foot.
“I see patients who come into my office complaining of arch or heel pain and they are wearing Crocs,” he points out. “Patients are more likely to have foot pain if their shoes bend in the shank.”
Though doctors consider Crocs unhealthy for most people, there are two cases in which consistently wearing Crocs is okay: Patients with a very high arch or those who suffer from excessive edema of the legs and ankles, Dr. Kor says.
“But, under no circumstances can I suggest wearing Crocs 8 to 10 hours per day,” he adds.
Moral of the story: Crocs may be a good choice for toiling about in the garden, but you’ll want to look for a more supportive, healthy shoe for all-day wear, vacation sightseeing, long walks and other occasions where comfortable shoes are a must.