The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

2014 Shoe Trends: Fashion Designers Turn Their Backs on Heels

Posted by on Monday, November 10th, 2014


Why do women put themselves through the agony of heels? There is a perception that high heels are the best accessory to skirts, dresses, and business pantsuits. These shoes have many associations–power, sex appeal, high fashion. Yet, if you’ve been to any of the big fashion shows this year or read any of the fashion blogs lately, you’ll have seen that when it comes to 2014 shoe trends this is changing. Suddenly, wide, flat footbeds with extra room in the toe and comfortable padding are showing up on the runway. As the saying goes, “Every dog has his day.” Are we seeing an end to widespread high heel wearing and the transition to functional footwear? Our New York podiatrists sure hope so.

High heels are the source of many foot woes, but are they finally falling by the wayside? Image Source: Unsplash

Fashion Designers Say Flat & Function Is “In”

This spring, NY Mag reported that “Birkenstock-inspired footwear popped up on runway after runway… in New York, paired with everything from floaty dresses to cropped trousers.” Vogue Magazine called Marc Jacobs’ crushed velvet Birkenstocks the “best accessory” of the designer’s spring collection. Frumpy, yet comfy, Worishofer sandals from Germany recently wound up on the feet of Maggie Gyllenhaal, Kirsten Dunst, Michelle Williams, and Keri Russell.

As The Wall Street Journal reminds us, bikinis were once considered “a radical experiment in swimwear.” Denim used to be the mark of the working class, but is now worn by the president, and motorcycle jackets are approaching “classic cult status.” Skinny jeans and t-shirts with blazers have defied “fad” labeling. Are comfy shoes the next trend that is here to stay or are they just part of the 2014 shoe trends? Perhaps only time will tell.

What we do know is this: Isabel Marant has wedge-heeled basketball shoes on the market. Phoebe Philo debuted fur-lined Birkenstocks in the spring of 2013. Yves Saint Laurent has put women in more masculine shoes–oxfords and wing-tips. Prada designed “brothel crawlers” for women. Nike Air Max landed on the runway with chino pants and denim jackets. You can get a pair of Chuck Taylors made by Comme des Garcons for $140. Even Christian Louboutin is rolling out high-top sneakers with python and calf hair accents.

Podiatrists Treat the Hazards of Heels

As New York City podiatrists, we see many of the ill effects of wearing high heel. Nicholas Kirkwood, Alexander McQueen, Christian Louboutin, and Francesco Russo have created shoe designs that utterly defy what we thought possible of the human anatomy. Not quite as dramatic as Chinese foot binding, but comparably torturous, we regularly see patients for painful neuromas, bunions, plantar fasciitis, infected blisters, corns, calluses, hammer toes, tendonitis, and shortened calf muscles–conditions all made much, much worse by high heel wearing.

Treatment for Foot Pain in NYC

Here at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine, we offer women the latest breakthrough treatments to remedy high heel pain, including extracorporeal shockwave therapy, platelet rich plasma injections, and custom orthoses fitted right here at our office. We walk you through the full gamut of treatment options, from the least invasive, all the way through surgical procedures for the most serious and chronic cases of foot pain. We’re happy to help you with shoe selection and fitting as well. Our team consists of board-certified podiatrists, foot surgeons, physical therapists, and sports medicine doctors, so you are assured comprehensive care that addresses the root of your problems, rather than merely dealing the symptoms as a general practitioner might. For your convenience, you may book with our Manhattan or Westchester offices online.


If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.