For those who have spent decades teetering in sky-high heels, wobbling on cobbled streets and sinking into damp grass, the current crop of on-trend trainers has come as a welcome relief. A comfortable shoe with high-fashion credentials? Ideal. Yet the vogue for increasingly bulky soles may also be problematic.
“Thick-soled trainers are heavier. This can give rise to pain up the front of the lower leg, known as shin splints,” says William Joyce, a podiatrist at City Chiropody and Podiatry in London. “This is because the extra weight can increase the demand on the muscles on the front of the shin.”
The heaviness of trainers – is an issue compounded by fashion’s love-in with chunky or “ugly” footwear. Reebok Triple Platform X Gigi Hadid (557g) and the Superga 2790 Linea Up Down (481g) are deemed to be among the worst offenders.
Fashion trainers may bear a resemblance to sports shoes but they are not the same thing even when they are designed by sports labels. While sports shoes are designed to support the arch of the foot, other sneakers, often, are not.
Yet it is unlikely that trainers will be replaced by something more practical as the shoe of the summer. Alexander McQueen’s oversized-sole sneakers – which don’t sound particularly lightweight – topped the Lyst Index’s report as the hottest product for women in the first quarter of 2019, matched by the Nike React Element 87 trainers on the men’s list. It was the first time the men’s list was made up entirely of trainers.
At Asos, almost 250 trainer styles are branded “chunky” and, sealing the deal, Naomi Campbell wore a pair of Sacai x Nike trainers this week on cobbled streets in Rome. So could the prospect of even heavier trainers and potential shin splints see the fashion set switch back to stilettos?
Andrew Gladstone, a directr of City Chiropody and Podiatry, hopes not. “High heels are generally worse than thick-soled trainers. Tight, narrow toe areas lead to corn formation, increased pressure on toes and joints, toenail problems, while thin, hard, leather-soled shoes can cause problems with the ball of the foot – corns, damaged metatarsal joints and general foot fatigue.” Trainers it is, then.
This article contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if a reader clicks through and makes a purchase. All our journalism is independent and is in no way influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative. By clicking on an affiliate link, you accept that third-party cookies will be set. More information.