Why You Need to Stop Wearing Ill-Fitting Shoes

why you need to stop wearing ill-fitting shoes [yestogoodness.com]

Shoes are designed to protect the feet from dirt and rough surfaces on the ground. As footwear, however, has evolved into a fashion staple for centuries, 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. The risks, however, are ever present, especially in women whose shoes are narrower and featured with more design innovations than men.

Signs of Ill-Fitting Shoes

You'll feel what doesn't fit right as you slip your feet into your shoes, and among the indicators to an ill-fitting pair include 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 would only subject yourself to the unnecessary pain that could develop into foot problems.

There are ways to stretch the shoes' width that are too tight though, but it won't work for all types of shoe materials. Professionals in the footwear industry said that 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 so stretching doesn't apply to all types of footwear.[1]

Blisters in specific areas

Blisters happen when there are too much friction and pressure between your skin and the shoe's inner surface. Blisters are soft, watery and quite painful if when it unexpectedly pops.

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. [2]

Physical changes in your body or your shoes

It’s only natural for your feet's size, shape and volume to change due to aging, following a weight gain, during pregnancy (for women), and because of activities like running and walking.[3] 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 its purpose.

Risks of Wearing Ill-Fitting Shoes

There are short-term and longer-term effects on your health when you continue to wear ill-fitting shoes.

Corns and calluses 

Like blisters, corns or 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 or press on your feet. It might also be inflamed and affect the proper flow of blood on your feet.

Corns or calluses that haven't been removed might lead to the development of bunions, hammertoes, and other foot deformities.[4] Treating corns and calluses requires commitment and consistency as it will take weeks to completely remove the layers of skin. Be sure to visit a podiatrist for the proper treatment so you won’t risk an infection.

Ingrown nails

Shoes that are too tight forces your toes to press together, which could push the sides of the nails around its surrounding skin. An ingrown toenail can be painful and might even become inflamed or infected, as well as temporarily limit your ability to walk.

Joint and muscle pain

The foot has 28 bones, 30 joints and over a hundred muscles and ligaments and one simple misalignment or injury can affect your whole body.[5] Because ill-fitting shoes do not provide proper support, it 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 and substitute for an injured foot, which should have worked as your shock absorbers when you stand, walk, run or move. Take a cue from the signs your body is sending off and change your footwear as soon as possible.

Back problems

Wearing ill-fitting shoes for a prolonged period can lead to back problems, particularly in the lower back. Your spinal muscles can become compressed, or stiffen, or suffer from wear and tear due to the unusual postural changes and in response to what's happening to your feet.

Shopping for the Right Shoes

If possible, shop for new shoes in the late afternoon because your feet have slightly expanded and you could feel the pressure points more.

  • Try walking around the store to get a feel of the shoes. Assess if it's roomy and comfortable enough.[6] 
  • 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 impact on your heels and the ball of your feet.

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Elliot is a health and personal finance enthusiast who lives her life below her means. She is obsessed with reading financial literacy books and health articles. Elliot has been blogging and writing web contents for 5 years and counting.

"A perfect day is a day wherein all of your to-dos have been ticked off."

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