Doctor Reveals How Painful Shoes Could Lead to Cancer, But Comfy Shoes Can Extend Life

foot cancer
Ill-fitting footwear worn on a regular basis has been linked to health woes.
Rex Shutterstock

That uncomfortable pair of pretty shoes in your closet could actually be causing you more damage than you thought.

Even though the long-term risks of wearing high heels have been documented for years, experts are linking what you choose to wear on your feet with an expanding list of health issues. In a book called “A Short Guide to a Long Life,” University of Southern California oncologist Dr. David Agus argues that wearing shoes that hurt your feet at the end of the day causes not only joint pressure but also low-level inflammation, which has been linked to Alzheimer’s and heart disease, as well as cancer.

The trouble really begins, according to Agus, when you start wearing painful shoes regularly rather than just for special occasions, since inflammation has a cumulative effect.

“The key is comfortable shoes,” Agus told Footwear News, adding that he does not want others to interpret his research as singling out high heels, since foot pain of any kind is a sign of inflammation. Many people feel pain after wearing high heels, but inflammation is caused by a variety of ill-fitting footwear.

high heels, Stilettos and heels more than 3 inches make it difficult to achieve good posture. REX Shutterstock
“We all have that pair of shoes we love but find painful to walk in,” said Agus, recommending that those who are unwilling to give up stilettos should wear them for short periods of time and try to minimize movement by sitting.

Otherwise, you are increasing the pressure you put on your feet — and contributing to your risk of more serious issues as you age.

“Comfortable shoes are, pardon the pun, a huge step in the right direction [when it comes to] avoiding more serious health problems later in life,” Agus said.