But the wrong kind of shoe can be much more subtle, and can cause more serious and longer-lasting damage than "just" an afternoon of agony.
The wrong shoe can hold your foot the wrong way. This causes subtle damage to the bones in your foot (26 in all!) and to the muscles and ligaments.
You pay for this with feet that hurt after only a few minutes of walking and with a greater chance of sprains and injuries down the road. Shoes without arch support flatten your foot and damage all those tender bones and muscles and ligaments.
Plus, the wrong shoe can give you the wrong posture. Shoes such as high heels, which tilt your body forward, throw your spinal alignment out of whack. You pay for this with backaches, headaches, and fatigue.
The right shoe should have a heel that is actually slightly lower than the ball of the foot. Save high heels for special occasions and choose flats instead; the loss of height will seem like a small price to pay to rid yourself of chronic aches, pains, and fatigue!
If you know you’ll be doing a lot of walking, opt for a sneaker-type shoe with good arch support. Go with one that laces firmly to your foot; if you feel like you have to curl your toes to keep a shoe on, you’re not doing your foot any favors.
Ask a shoe department salesman to help you pick shoes that will look good for work, but will still be gentle on your feet. Remember: when your feet are happy, so are you!