By Christopher M. Cole, L.Ped
Foot pain can be due to all sorts of reasons, including footwear that does not fit properly. Ill-fitting shoes are a big problem in America. A recent study from the Institute for Preventive Foot Health found that 78% of adults have encountered foot pain at some point — usually due to shoes that are too tight, too small, too large, too high, or too floppy. Consumer Reports notes that a shoe size problem is actually quite easy to fix.
Do You Know Your Correct Shoe Size?
Did you know that most people wear shoes that are half a size too large or small? In fact, 12% of Americans may be wearing shoes improperly sized by 1.5 sizes or more, says Consumer Reports.
A study of older individuals conducted by the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society concluded that 8 in 10 were wearing shoes that were too narrow, and 7 in 10 women develop bunions, hammertoes, or other foot deformities from their ill-fitting footwear.
Why Do We Choose the Wrong Shoe Size?
As we get older, our ligaments and tendons stretch out, our arches fall flatter, and the soles of our feet lose padding. Weight gain or pregnancy may cause the feet to widen. In fact, experts say that people over 40 can gain half a shoe size every decade. Yet, many of us continue to buy the same shoe size year after year.
Foot Problems Caused by Wearing the Wrong Shoe Size
– Loose shoes can cause falls, blisters, calluses, ulcers, or painful injuries elsewhere in the body, as you begin to take shorter, more irregular strides.
– Pointy, cramped toe boxes can cause a painful lump on the edge of your toe known as a “bunion.” Over time, the other toes may curl up to fit inside the narrow space, causing the other four toes to become “hammer toes.”
– Heels that are too high can make the Achilles tendon shorten, which often leads to plantar fasciitis heel pain and neuroma nerve pain on the balls of the feet.
– Shoes that lack adequate arch support and cushioning can also cause plantar fasciitis
How to Buy Properly-Fitting Shoes
Consumer Reports recommends measuring your feet regularly, especially at the end of the day when they are most swollen. Have your feet measured and assessed by an expert prior to purchasing footwear to ensure accurate sizing and design options. Ordering shoes online may sound convenient, but often cost you more time, money and pain. Visiting your local pedorthic shoe store will typically save you time, money and a lot of foot aches.
The American orthopedic foot and ankle society found that New Balance & Brooks are among the most highly recommended and prescribed brands by Podiatrist and Orthopedic Surgeons. Locally, in SWFL, we also get many recommendations for brands like Naot , Finn Comfort, Dunham, Aravon and Oofos; all offering a nice blend of style, comfort, and support. These brands also give patients many sandal options, with support equal to many walking shoes, while
providing the foot more breathe ability.
With so many footwear options available, it is difficult knowing which brands and types and sizes are best for your feet. We are happy to discuss your shoe choice and fit at Foot Solutions of Estero. We can also examine your feet for any damage that has occurred due to ill-fitting footwear, and recommend treatment, if necessary.
The footwear experts at Foot Solutions in Estero perform complimentary Pedorthic evaluations in order to properly assess your feet and arches, as well as your balance and gait. This thorough evaluation is needed to accurately determine which footwear can eliminate your pain and is best for your needs.
Foot Solutions Estero not only offers premium off the shelf arch supports and orthotics, they can make them custom to each individual and to the precise differences between ones feet. After a thorough one-on-one evaluation including the use of state of the art scanners, Foot Solutions ensures each client receives the proper shoe.
If you are experiencing any foot problems and have questions, please contact the staff at Foot Solutions in Estero. They are located at 21301 S. Tamiami Trail – Ste 300, Estero FL 33928 and can be reached at (239) 495-8911.