Shoes are designed to protect the feet from dirt and rough surfaces on the ground. As over centuries footwear has evolved into a fashion staple, it’s not uncommon to hear people complain of pain on their feet because of ill-fitting shoes that are either too big, too small or simply just not designed for comfort.
Still, people continue to wear ill-fitting shoes and sacrifice comfort thinking that it won’t leave any permanent health damage. Experts in orthopedics, Boca Raton warn that the risks are ever present, especially in women whose shoes are narrower and featured with more design innovations than men’s.
Signs of Ill-Fitting Shoes
You’ll feel what doesn’t fit right as soon as you slip your feet into the shoes, and among the indicators to an ill-fitting pair are the following:
Tightness in the width
Your shoe size pertains to the length of your feet but it’s also important to consider the width of the footwear. If it’s too narrow and tight despite the right length, then you only subject yourself to unnecessary pain that could develop into foot problems.
There are ways to stretch the shoes’ width, but it won’t work for all types of shoe materials. Shoes made of lace, nylon, and plastic would be damaged when stretched and it’s also harder to stretch the width of pumps or heeled shoes than flat shoes.
Blisters in specific areas
Blisters develop when there is too much friction and pressure between your skin and the shoe’s inner surface. Blisters are soft, fluid-filled pockets on the upper layers of the skin that feel hot and painful.
Too tight or loose shoes can lead to blisters, which is why some prefer a break-in period for new shoes to get rid of the discomfort and prevent blister formation. The best shoes to buy, however, won’t require such a process.
Physical changes in your body or your shoes
It’s only natural for your feet’s size and shape to change due to aging, weight gain, pregnancy, and physical activities like running and walking. As a result, your old or favorite pair of shoes might no longer fit well. Wear and tear can also turn a reliable pair of footwear into ill-fitting shoes, thus you need to pay attention to these physical changes and consider ditching shoes that have served their purpose.
Shopping for the Right Shoes
If possible, shop for new shoes in the late afternoon because your feet have slightly expanded and you could better feel where the pressure points are.
- Try walking around the store to get a feel of the shoes. Assess if they’re roomy and comfortable enough.
- See how much wiggle room you have inside by moving your toes.
- Look for shoes with a fastening so you can make adjustments when necessary.
- Pick shoes with cushioning in the insoles that will support the impact on your heels and the ball of your feet.
Health Risks of Wearing Ill-Fitting Shoes
Wearing ill-fitting shoes can lead to short-term and long-term effects on your health:
Corns and calluses
Like blisters, corns and calluses develop because of friction and pressure from ill-fitting shoes. Made up of dead skin cells, corns or calluses can be soft or hard and might be attached deeper to the skin tissues. In some cases, it could cause pain when you walk.
Corns or calluses that haven’t been removed might lead to the development of bunions, hammertoes, and other foot deformities. Treating corns and calluses requires commitment and consistency as it will take weeks to completely remove the layers of skin.
Shoes that are too tight force your toes to press together, which could push the sides of the nails deep against the surrounding skin. An ingrown toenail can be painful and might even become inflamed or infected.
Joint and muscle pain
The foot has 28 bones, 30 joints, and over a hundred muscles and ligaments – one simple misalignment or injury can affect your whole body. Because ill-fitting shoes do not provide proper support, they can aggravate joint pains like arthritis or knee problems.
You might notice some tightness in your muscles and more pronounced pain around the thighs or lower leg while wearing ill-fitting shoes. This is because your knees and legs compensate for your injured foot when it no longer works well to absorb shock and support your weight. Take a cue from the signs your body is sending off and change your footwear as soon as possible.
Wearing ill-fitting shoes for a prolonged period can lead to back problems, particularly in the lower back. Your spinal muscles can become compressed, stiffen, or suffer from wear and tear due to the unusual postural changes and in response to what’s happening to your feet.
Learn more about Orthopedic, Boca Raton
Orthopaedic Surgery Associates has helped many orthopedic patients improve their health and quality of life throughout the years. We have qualified specialists and state-of-the-art technology so you are in good hands.
If you have questions about foot and orthopedic problems related to ill-fitting shoes, don’t hesitate to contact our specialist orthopedic at Boca Raton. You can also request an appointment or call us at (561) 395-5733.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health