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Here's how to rock this spring's biggest shoe trend pain-free.

Kathleen Mulpeter
February 26, 2018
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Mules and slides are projected to be one of this year's biggest fashion trends. Which is great news, because as far as style is concerned, they're incredibly versatile: the open back helps seamlessly transition an outfit from winter to spring, and the slip-on style means they couldn't be easier to get on and off.

The only problem? Mules aren't exactly great for your feet, says New York City-based podiatrist Jacqueline Sutera, MD. "The concern with both mules and slides is the open back," she explains. "When a shoe doesn't have a back or even a strap, the foot relies on toes gripping to keep the shoe from sliding off your foot while walking." Over time, this can lead to foot problems such as tendonitis, inflammation, and strains and might also worsen existing issues such as hammer toes.

But this doesn't mean you have to miss out on the trend entirely. If you choose to wear mules, Dr. Sutera recommends doing so for short periods of standing or walking (in other words, you probably don't want to commute in them). You should also look for a pair that has foot-friendly features such as arch support, a cushioned footbed, a rounded toe box, and a not-too-tall heel. 

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