Pros & Cons of High Top Shoes

Written by carolyn scheidies
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Pros & Cons of High Top Shoes
High-top shoes support the ankles. (mining boots image by Steve Lovegrove from

Shoes did not always come in the immense variety that is available today. Even today, in some countries, shoes are a luxury. Most of us, however, can choose shoes for formal or informal events; we can choose sandals, boots, sneakers or high-top shoes. Each style has any number of varieties available. High-tops may vary in composition and style, but they all have one thing in common---they rise above the ankle.

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Pros for Children

Children's bones are not finished changing and growing until into early adulthood. Regular shoes worn in certain situations, such as on an icy sidewalk, may prove dangerous. Should the child fall, those growing bones, muscles and tissue can be damaged. However, should the child be wearing high-tops, such damage is minimised because high-tops encase, and provide protection for, the ankles. Teens involved in high impact sports like basketball, high jump, hurdles, track and wrestling find their bones, ligaments and joints twisted, jerked and slammed. Again, wearing high-tops gives protection to feet and, especially, the ankles. An athlete may not be quite so prone to injuries that end athletic careers if his ankles are protected.

Pros for Adults

Adults are constantly on the go with work, shuttling kids here and there, moving through days in a fog that often leaves little room for organised exercise. All our activities leave our bodies out of shape and our joints, bones and muscles---especially in our feet---are exposed to injury. While most people are not going to wear high-tops to the office, using them while rushing around, playing and working with our children and while exercising can help support feet and ankles and help prevent injury, even fractures. High-tops can be especially helpful for those with debilitating illnesses like arthritis, when the ankle needs all the support possible for the wearer to walk without pain.

Cons for Children

High-tops may protect ankles, but they are seldom much of a fashion statement, especially for girls. Wearing high-tops may open some children up to ridicule for not looking as fashionable as other children. While this may not seem like a big deal to parents, such ridicule from other children can have a profound effect on self-esteem. Shoes need to match the style of outfits worn and at least blend in, to some degree, with what other children are wearing.

Cons for Adults

Adults are as fashion conscious, or more so than children. High-tops may not be the latest fashion, though there have been strides in making high-tops available in more styles and colours. Adults need to weigh fashion with safety both for themselves and their children. Adults do need to wear shoes that fit a given situation. This may mean changing shoes throughout the day, using whatever shoe meets the need at any given time. For sports and exercise, choose a solidly built high-top.

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