Shoes support and protect your feet whether you’re hiking the San Gabriel Mountains or hitting the streets for a day of shopping. Shoes can cushion your feet while you run, and if they are high tops, they can reduce the risk of twisting your ankle.
Not only do shoes protect your feet, but also they can add the finishing touch to your outfit.
With all these perks to wearing shoes, it’s hard to believe that your shoes might also be to blame for your foot problems.
The importance of well-fitting shoes
You might not think much about your feet until they start to hurt, and once foot pain arrives, it’s hard to ignore. Your shoes can help you avoid foot pain, but in some cases, the shoes you wear may inadvertently contribute to foot pain.
Well-fitting shoes serve as a cushion and shock absorber. Your shoes also help you maintain proper balance and posture by distributing your weight evenly. “Good” shoes are the right size (always get sized as different shoe brands may vary), breathable, and designed for your specific activity. For example, soccer shoes protect your feet when kicking a ball, while hiking boots help prevent foot fatigue and protect your foot from injuries.
Foot problems caused by ill-fitting shoes
Unfortunately, many foot issues arise when you wear the wrong type of shoes.
Blisters, a common foot injury, can develop if your shoes are too small or rub against your heel. While many people treat blisters at home, a blister can be more problematic if you have diabetes.
Wearing shoes that are too narrow can contribute to the development of bunions. A bunion is a bony protrusion at the base of your big toe joint. This protrusion puts a lot of pressure on your joint, and your big toe forces your other toes to lean sideways, which is painful and can make walking difficult as the condition progresses.
If you already have bunions, choose shoes with a wide toe box to give your toes more room.
Calluses and corns
If the skin on your foot is constantly irritated (from rubbing against ill-fitting shoes), you may develop corns and/or calluses. The biggest culprits of corns and calluses are:
- Wearing high heels
- Wearing shoes that are too tight
- Wearing shoes that are too loose (and your foot slides around)
- Wearing shoes with a seam that rubs the same place every day
- Skipping socks or wearing socks that don’t fit right
If you have a corn, don’t attempt to remove it. Instead, Dr. Elhiani may file down thickened skin on your corn. Orthotics can help prevent future calluses and corns.
Wearing high heels or shoes that are too short can contribute to the development of hammertoes. Hammertoes form when there is an abnormal bend in the toe joint, usually your second toe.
Depending on the severity of your symptoms, our team can treat hammertoes with stretches, orthotics, or surgery.
Wearing unsupportive shoes (shoes that don’t provide the correct arch support for your feet) can cause plantar fasciitis. You might suspect you have plantar fasciitis if you have heel pain, especially first thing in the morning.
Your foot anatomy can play a role in the development of plantar fasciitis. High arches and flat feet are risk factors, but your shoe selection can exacerbate the issue.
Find relief for your foot pain
Shoes aren’t to blame for all foot problems, but regularly wearing ill-fitting shoes can compound matters. Here at Eazy Foot & Ankle, our team provides podiatric care for all your foot needs, whether your shoes caused it or not!