Many of us choose which shoes to wear based off of how they look not how they fit but that could be a mistake. Wearing shoes that don’t fit properly can cause a number of painful problems.
What Happens if You Wear Shoes That Don’t Fit Properly?
Sometimes, it is obvious that shoes don’t fit properly. For example, the heel might be too tight, your foot might slip out of the shoes when walking or the shoes may feel too loose. However, sometimes it isn’t so obvious that the shoes you are wearing don’t fit properly.
A pair of properly fitted shoes will have the following characteristics:
- Toes should not be pinched – there should be enough room that your toes can spread out while walking or running
- Toes should not touch the tip of the shoe
- Heel of the shoe should comfortably “cup” your heel
- Shoes should not rub against your foot
- Shoes should not slip or slide when walking
- Space at the end of the shoes – when standing there should be enough space in the back of the shoes that you are able to fit one or two fingers
- Shape of the shoe should fit the shape of your foot
- Shoes should have a toe box that is deep enough to comfortably fit your toes – this is especially important if you have hammertoes or bunions
These are just some of the many things to consider when making sure your shoes fit properly. Visit our shoe fitting guide to learn how to determine which shoes are the best for you.
Examples of Painful Foot Problems Caused by Wearing Shoes That Don’t Fit Properly
The following are just some of the many examples of painful problems you could experience if you wear shoes that don’t fit properly.
Blisters occur from the friction caused by the rubbing of your shoes against your foot. Any pair of shoes, even brand new ones, can cause blisters, but they are mostly caused by wearing shoes that are too narrow or small.
Wearing shoes that squish your toes or are too narrow can cause ingrown toenails. If you continue to wear these types of shoes, your toenails won’t have enough room to properly grow. Overtime, the nail will start to grow into the skin which causes you to experience pain, swelling and inflammation.
Plantar Fasciitis – Heel Pain
Shoes that don’t fit properly on the heel can irritate the plantar fascia, the area around the heel. This can cause extreme pain and stiffness in the heel or along the back of the leg.
The shoes you choose to wear should have enough room that your feet are able to “breathe”. In other words, there should be enough room that your feet can move around comfortably and that air can get in and allow your feet to “dry” if they get sweaty or wet. If your feet aren’t able to breathe, such as when your shoes are too narrow or small, the bacteria that causes athlete’s foot can grow and spread.
Hammertoes and Bunions
Hammertoes happen when the joints of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th toes bend abnormally. The abnormal bend causes the toes to curl upwards. A bunion, on the other hand, happens when the joint of the big toe has an abnormal bend to it. This causes the formation of a large bump on the side of the foot right below the big toe.
Wearing ill-fitting shoes might not cause hammertoes and bunions, but it can make them worse. Wearing shoes that are too tight or too narrow can irritate the joints which can cause you to experience pain, swelling and tenderness if you have hammertoes or bunions.
Suffering from Foot Pain from Ill-Fitting Shoes? Let Us Help!
Think the shoes you are wearing might be the cause of your foot pain? Call us at Sweeney Foot & Ankle Specialists to schedule an appointment to speak with one of our experienced doctors. We can help you find relief for your foot pain.
Not only will we help you find relief for your foot pain, we can help you find shoes that fit properly. Schedule an appointment today and see how we can help you.