Maybe you’re suffering from lower back pain, perhaps you’re pregnant and not trying to wear heels in your third trimester, or maybe you’re just over the general cramping that some high heels can cause your feet. There are plenty of motivating reasons you may find yourself at the high heel versus flats crossroads. If you’re trying to make the jump out of your heels and into some healthier and comfier flats, keep reading for all the motivation you’ll need.

Perfect Posture

Opting for women’s flats over high heels is a no-brainer when you think about how rough the shape of high heel shoes is on your posture. With nearly 65 million Americans reporting recent back pain, that’s about one-fifth of the American population. While various issues can cause back pain, poor posture is almost always an indicator. Heels place your weight on the front of your foot, causing the rest of your body to compensate, which creates an unnatural posture. Ditch the heels and the back pain.

Be Gone Bunions

If you wear heels often, you may have already developed bunions. If you’re not in the habit of wearing heels daily, save yourself from this issue. Not only are bunions unsightly, but they’re also incredibly painful. Some people even require surgery to correct their bunion issues.

A bunion is a bony bump that forms at the base of your big toe. When your foot is constantly in a downward position from your heeled shoes, you put significant pressure on your forefoot, which can cause this medical issue. Bye-bye, high heels, and bunions!

Better Balance

Another issue that many high heel wearers have to deal with is balance issues. You likely remember the learning curve to learn how to walk in high heels, but even the most seasoned wearers know you’re limited when it comes to certain surfaces, and it’s always unsafe to run in a heeled shoe.

Basic balance is affected by high heels because even if it feels easy, you’re putting all your extra weight on your tippy toes to balance in a pair of heels. These balance issues result in damage to the bones and connective tissues in your feet. No matter how beautiful the shoe, foot damage is never a good look.

Joint Issues

The two joints most affected by high-heeled shoes are your knees and ankles. While most of us understand the importance of protecting our ankles when doing a strenuous walk, like hiking, these joints do so much for us that they deserve more recognition.

Ankles are affected by heeled shoes because their motion is so limited by the design of the shoes. Additionally, it strains your Achilles heel, which can cause painful tendonitis over time. Your knees are affected by your high heels because of the compression heels put on them. It’s no wonder that more women than men are affected by knee osteoarthritis. Avoid painful joint issues by choosing a beautiful flat for dressier occasions and supportive sneakers and sandals on a casual day.

Heels Damage Your Toes

Whether you put in a ton of work at home keeping your feet beautiful through DIY pedicures or shell out your hard-earned cash for someone else to take care of your toes, you’re not doing yourself any favors when it comes to your ten little toes by wearing heels. Through gravity, your toes are cramped together in the toe of the shoe when you wear heels.

Over time this can lead to unattractive toe conditions like hammertoe. Not to mention how uncomfortable it is to have your toes pushed against each other all day. Do your toes a favor and free them along with the rest of your feet!

In addition to all the issues mentioned above, heels can affect your gait (your manner of walking), give you hip pain, and more. By taking care of your feet by ditching your high heels, you can avoid health issues in the long term. Sure, they may look cute with an outfit for an event, but it’s best not to wear heels longer than a couple of hours and do so rarely. Thankfully, there are unlimited stylish footwear options that also guard your health. Ditch your heels today and start feeling better immediately!