Wrong size shoes can cause blisters, sores, pain, and other more serious conditions; learn what to avoid and why the correct shoe size is essential.
Sore, painful, swollen, and uncomfortable feet can hinder your daily life and lead to health complications if not properly taken care of. Several different causes can create health issues associated with your feet; the leading cause of foot pain and other problems is wearing tight or ill-fitting shoes. Here is everything you need to know about choosing the right pair of shoes for your feet and how to avoid the most common issues.
Why It’s Important to Wear the Right Shoe Size
Aside from comfort, properly fitting shoes can prevent some of the most common foot problems from occurring and injuries due to unnecessary pressure or friction on your feet. Many people across the globe experience the most common foot conditions that are caused by ill-fitting shoes.
Aching foot pain is one of the first signs that your poorly fitting shoes are causing harm. Tight-fitting shoes might cause swelling and aches in the ball and heel of your feet. Shoes with tight ankle support can lead to swollen ankles and reduced circulation.
Corns and calluses are foot deformities that are often caused when you wear shoes that are too tight, through friction from your toes constantly rubbing in a pair of shoes with reduced toe box volume. Aside from the pain and aching, the cramped atmosphere can form painful and unsightly corns and bunions.
Women’s shoes such as narrow high heels often cause deformities as they are sold as slimming, narrow shoes. Hammer-toes and bunions are common with these types of shoes. Your toes might cross over and bend inwards instead of growing straight. This painful condition will need to be treated by orthopedic surgeons if it is not corrected early on. Hammer-toes primarily impact the big toe, as it curves inwards towards the second toe, often crossing over.
Ingrown toenails occur when your toe starts to rub against the inside of your new shoe. Friction, sweat, and a tight fit can all lead to your nails curving and growing inwards. This painful ailment, if left untreated, can lead to loss of your toenails and painful infections.
Deformities and infections of the feet can cause debilitating and acute pain. Shoes that cut into the backs of your feet or rub against corns and calluses can leave your feet sore for days on end.
This symptom is common in people with other circulation problems and other conditions such as diabetes. Neuropathy is also known as “diabetic foot”. People with diabetes often suffer from damage to the nerves in the feet and other extremities. This condition can make it almost impossible for them to feel pressure sores forming. Diabetic foot ulcers often form when wearing tight new shoes.
Tight shoes can often lead to sweaty and smelly feet. When shoes fit tightly and leave little room for ventilation and movement, they can become a breeding ground for bacteria – a common fungal infection between the toenails and the toes. Fungal infections such as athlete’s foot can also cause a burning sensation, including itching and broken, painful skin, which can worsen with poorly fitted footwear.
Alignment and Posture
Shoes that do not have enough space to accommodate your feet can cause you to walk unnaturally with a different gait. Constantly walking like this will eventually alter your body’s alignment. Posture and alignment in your spine are all areas that could be affected by this, leading to acute back and hip pain.
Tight Footwear: What to Look Out For
Well-fitting shoes are easy to spot; they will feel good no matter what time of the day and can be worn for long periods without hurting your feet. If you are choosing new shoes to add to your closet, you must make the right choices. Make sure you look out for these critical factors to avoid buying tight-fitting footwear that injures your feet.
- Shoe size means little – Different makes and styles can change how a shoe fits your foot. It is essential to try the footgear on and make sure that your feet are comfortable. Unisex styles fit differently from gendered options, as women’s shoes tend to be a little more narrow in the toe area.
- Get fitted – Shoe size changes regularly, as you age and as your hormones change; many other factors such as activity levels all impact the size of your foot. Getting properly fitted can help ensure that you do not end up with a pair of shoes that is uncomfortable.
- Use the larger foot as a guide – No two feet are alike; one foot will be a little bigger than the other. When measuring your feet, use the measurement on the bigger foot as a guide to buying shoes.
- The shape – Take note of the shape of your foot and the shape of the shoes you are interested in; wider feet need a wider toe compartment with enough depth. It is vital to get the right shape for your feet, especially if you have a foot deformity like hammertoes or calluses, ensuring that the affected area is not further irritated and damaged.
- Try them on at night – At night or in the evening, your feet will be a little more swollen from walking around during the day. A comfortable shoe with the proper fit will be comfortable on your feet and won’t fit too snugly – a little more room when your feet are not swollen will ensure that you are comfortable.
- The right kind of shoe for the job – Certain styles are made for specific jobs. Make sure that if you require sports training footwear, you buy the right kind. It would be best if you matched running sneakers to the running you do and the terrain you run on; this distinction is crucial as it will ensure your toes are not hurt and do not do any lasting damage to your feet while you are active.
- Arch support – Good arch support is vital, especially if you have pre-existing conditions such as flat feet.
Your next shoe purchase should be informed; with the right tools and advice, you will be able to avoid the most common foot problems that come from wearing an uncomfortable and tight shoe. Regularly wearing a shoe that does not fit appropriately will only worsen your symptoms and could lead to a trip to your local orthopedic surgeons for a check-up and correction.
What to Do When Your Shoes Are Too Tight
Choosing the correct fitting shoe can save you a lot of time, effort, and pain. There are a few ways that you can avoid any aches; many articles will boast that you can stretch a pair of shoes out. While this might be true, it is also important to remember that stretching them out is not always a great idea. Stretched and worn pairs can lead to further discomfort later on.
If you have too tight footwear, you will need to see a foot care specialist all of a sudden. A change in the size and fit can signal something you should look at or have assessed.
The Right Size
There are often many questions that you may find yourself asking about your feet and wearing tight shoes. It is vital to consult with a podiatrist or a foot care specialist to advise you on all of your foot care issues. At the Birmingham Foot Care Specialists, we specialize in helping you assess the overall health of your feet and whether it is time to invest in new footwear. Wearing shoes shouldn’t hurt your feet. So protect your big toe, heel, and sole by making the choice to wear shoes that fit properly.