Badly Fitting Shoes

Posted 18 May '21

Badly Fitting Shoes

We have some scary statistics for you.

"Nearly half of British women are wearing the wrong shoe size – and a third of 2,000 people admit to wearing shoes that don't fit properly."

"A poll of 2,000 people by Hotter shoes found a fifth of people hadn't measured their feet in more than 10 years and nearly 30 million Brits have damaged their feet with ill-fitting footwear."

Poorly fitting shoes cause many foot health problems, it is vital to wear correctly fitting shoes.

The majority of first-time patients we see haven't had their feet measured in years, sometimes decades. We spend a lot of time discussing their footwear choices. Most of our parents, and as parents, we are attentive to our children's feet, with regular visits to the shoe shop to check to see if their feet have grown. Just because you've turned 18, it doesn't mean your feet will magically stop growing or changing. The changes are much smaller, but they still happen, especially over the pandemic, when we were all wearing different shoes most of the time. 

People suddenly went from wearing formal, supportive, structured shoes for 10 hours a day to mainly wearing slippers whilst working from home. Some people's feet have become a little wider, their skin has softened, and the strength in your ankle joints have reduced due to the lower activity levels. Now that we are all going out more, work and social events, all the practical and beautiful shoes are being worn again. Before you cram your feet into shoes that are too tight, book a measuring appointment at your local shoe shop, you might be surprised at the results.


Accepting your feet have changed size isn't something people like to do, but here are some of the foot problems that are caused by poorly fitting footwear:

-Blisters. We all get them, and a small one isn't too bad, but large ones can take weeks to heal fully, and the chance of infections is high. Blisters are partly caused by friction; if your shoes are too tight or even too loose, the rubbing will cause a hot spot, leading to a blister.

-Callus. These form when your body is trying to protect itself from harm; if you are constantly wearing shoes that push on an area of your foot, your body will build up a callus as a buffer. Calluses will build up and often split into painful cracks, leading to infections. It takes commitment of a good skincare routine for your feet to reduce and treat a callus. Find out more here.  

-Ingrown toenail. We perform ingrown toenail surgery almost daily; sometimes, these are genetic, but other times it's because the patient has worn shoes that are too small for them, and their toes are constantly bumping into the front of their shoes. These pressures and repeated injury cause damage to the nail bed. If you think you have an ingrown toenail forming, read more here.

 -Bunion. A bony lump on the inside edge of your foot. When the pressure across the front of the shoes is too much for too long, the bones inside your feet will move, causing a bunion.  Take a read about bunions here if you think you might have one.

 -Hammertoes. If your toes cannot straighten and lie flat, you might have a hammertoe. Your toe is invariably bent and will rub in some shoes. We have lots of advice and treatments to help you manage hammertoes.

 -Back and neck pain. If your feet hurt, your body will try and compensate by altering your posture. These changes to the angles will impact your back and neck. If you've ever suffered from back pain, you will want to avoid this happening again.

Problems with your feet can be costly to remedy and take a lot of time to heal or treat, which is why we spend so much time advising people and prescribing orthotics to ensure you aren't damaging your feet with your shoes.   Contact us anytime if you are concerned about your foot health. 

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