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Despite being shunned as a “fashion-don’t” in recent years, Ugg boots and their knock-off counterparts don’t seem to be leaving the fashion scene any time in the near future. Ladies love them—they’re easy to slip on and off, they’re comfortable, they’re warm, and they’re very slipper-like. However, some podiatrists and osteopaths are becoming increasingly concerned over the long-term effects on the foot from wearing Uggs or their wanna-be counterparts.

In fact, in a recent article, the head of the British College of Osteopathic Medicine, Dr. Ian Drysdale, spoke out about the health risks of wearing Ugg-style boots. He stated:

“Because these boots are warm and soft, young girls think they are giving their feet a break. In fact, they are literally breaking their feet. Their feet are slipping around inside. With each step, the force falls towards the inside of the foot and the feet splay. This flattens the arch and makes it drop. The result can be significant problems with the foot, the ankle, and ultimately, the hip.”

Furthermore, the $140 price tag on most authentic Ugg boots isn’t guaranteed to help your feet any more than wearing the knock-off versions. Dr. Rock Positano, Director of the Non-surgical Foot and Ankle Service for the Hospital for Special Surgery had this to say about the supposed “benefits” of spending the extra cash on “real” Ugg boots:

“Whether they are real Uggs or fake Uggs, we’re dealing with footwear that offers no substantial and necessary orthopedic support for the foot and the ankle.”

Overall, the doctors stressed that prolonged walking, standing and activity in Uggs or Ugg-like boots could lead to both temporary and prolonged problems. For example, the temporary problems can include pain in the arch of the foot, the heel, or in the lower legs. Consequently, because of the pressure on the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones, everyday use can cause long-term problems for wearers like bunions, hammertoes, arthritis, tendinitis, and issues with the Achilles tendon, knees, hips and lower back. If your’e not convinced of the dangers of wearing Ugg boots, the doctors simply urge you to wear your sheepskin boots sparingly or only when you know you won’t be doing extensive amounts of walking or standing. If you simply can’t resist wearing your Uggs on a day-to-day basis, consider adding supportive insoles to the inside of your boots.

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