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Poorly designed flats are just as bad for your feet as heels, but these comfortable ballet flats, loafers, and sneakers are cute and podiatrist-approved. 

By Anthea Levi and Kathleen Felton
October 16, 2019
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Long walks require shoes you can wear for hours—comfortably. Though we’re all well aware that heels just aren’t an option when multiple miles may be involved, the wrong ballet flats can be equally damaging to feet.

“Wearing poorly designed flats can result in plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, and neuromas, since narrow toeboxes can squeeze the metatarsals together in the front of the foot,” says New York City-based podiatrist Hillary Brenner. “Also, if chronically worn, flats can lead to stress fractures.” Yikes.

So while those sweet-as-can-be ballet flats appear way less damaging than your spikiest stilettos, they can actually cause considerable podiatric problems. We got in touch with top podiatrists to see how they pick the best flats for walking. Here, eight pairs that meet the experts’ foot-friendly standards.

This article was originally published on August 30, 2016 and has been updated for accuracy.

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