We see people every day for numerous foot problems and one thing we know for sure is that good health starts from the feet up.
Studies have shown that over thirty percent of women and men wear incorrectly fitting shoes that are not the right length nor width for their feet. This can lead to a number of health problems, some of which we’ve listed below.
A correctly fitting shoe will support you to feel good all day, with a better sense of overall wellbeing when the day ends. Incorrectly fitting shoes will impact your spine alignment causing an imbalance. You’ll need to get more active on your yoga mat, stretch or do some other form of therapy to bring your spine, hips and legs back into alignment.
A well-fitting shoe will:
- Support your foot to walk correctly without rolling out to either side or putting unnecessary pressure on specific areas of the foot
- Cushion the foot to minimise the impact of hitting the ground through your body
- Help your feet to feel snug and secure as you go about your day, therefore supporting your spine
- Maintain good energy levels as the day goes on because your feet are properly aligned.
Here are 5 common problems we see at the clinic which are often related to incorrectly fitting footwear:
Ingrown toenails can be very painful and make walking normally a real challenge. They occur when the edges of the nail curves and grows into the surrounding skin, causing swelling and inflammation. If they are left untreated, they can also lead to an infection. Tight-fitting shoes are often the culprit, especially if the shape of your nailbed is predisposed to recurring ingrown toenails.
Read more: Ingrown Toenails: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
Feet are equipped to deal with frictional and vertical forces. They are subject to constant movement and interaction with socks, shoes and the ground beneath them. If the friction is too great, the skin stretches, and a skin tear develops under the surface which fills with fluid. Shoes that fit too tight or even too loosely will cause friction in sensitive areas of the foot and create blisters.
Corns and calluses
The foot is meant to walk in alignment with the rest of the body and support and balance our weight evenly. If the foot is out of balance, additional friction or pressure will cause corns and calluses. There may be an underlying cause such as a biomechanical problem, but often corns and calluses occur because of incorrectly fitting shoes. If they are too tight, the shoe will rub against the foot causing hardening of the skin. If the shoe is too loose, the same thing can happen and rub repeatedly against the shoe causing the skin to harden in response.
You may have inherited your foot shape and structure from your parents and if they are prone to bunions, badly fitting shoes will only make them worse. Bunions develop when the big toe pushes inwards toward the second toe, throwing the foot’s structure out of alignment and causing a bony protrusion. They can cause discomfort and pain depending on their severity. Wearing badly-fitting shoes that are too small, too tight, or pointy forces the big toe further inwards, making the bunion protrude outward even more.
A neuroma which is also referred to as Morton’s neuroma, is a benign cyst that develops in the ball of the foot between the 3rd and 4th toes. Although you can’t actually see a neuroma, you can feel a lump in this region of the foot. Ill-fitting shoes, high-heeled shoes or shoes that are tight across the front will place pressure on your toes and the ball of your foot and aggravate neuromas causing a great deal of discomfort.
Sanders Podiatrists will help you choose correctly fitting footwear for your ongoing health and wellbeing
Becoming more conscious of your footwear does not mean you have to wear daggy shoes! We love fashion too but there are many options now for both fashion and good fit available in the market. It may also be a matter of deciding what shoes you wear and how long you wear them for. Make an appointment for some foot loving care here at Sanders Podiatry, and we’ll help you diagnose any foot problems you have and recommend footwear that is ideally suited to you.