Last Updated on September 16, 2023 by Martina McKeough
Are you wearing ill-fitting shoes and hoping to get away with it? Many people are wearing the wrong size footwear and are unaware of the ramifications of their choices on their foot health. The effects of wearing bad shoes may not be just a little minor discomfort but cause serious foot problems and pain that can be difficult to rectify.
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How Shoes Affect Your Health
The wrong size shoes can cause structural foot problems over time that can impact the way that you walk. The prolonged strain of wearing ill-fitting shoes doesn’t just have obvious immediate problems such as blisters but can lead to reduced mobility over time.
Wearing bad shoes can impact the deeper soft tissues of the foot, create toe deformities and can even lead to foot and ankle surgery. That is why investing time in a proper shoe fitting when you buy a new pair of shoes is worth the investment of your time.
Your shoe size can vary between different brands of footwear so making time to buy properly fitting new shoes rather than making assumptions on sizing can make all the difference. Not just to your feet but in fact to your whole body.
Symptoms of Wearing The Wrong Shoes
We are going to talk about the effects of wearing bad shoes so that you can understand the importance of foot health.
The symptoms of wearing ill-fitting shoes can of course lead to problems with everything from your heel area to your Achilles tendon.
Areas of pain in your foot however are not the whole story. Problems with wearing shoes that are the wrong size can have a knock-on impact on the way that you walk. That in turn can cause referred pain to your knees and legs and even cause pain throughout your entire body.
Learning to wear your proper shoe size and making sure your footwear is suitable can stop these problems from occurring in the first place.
Effects of Wearing Tight Shoes Include Blisters
Tight-fitting shoes that don’t leave enough room for your foot to move around are highly likely to cause blisters.
If you have a tight toe box then you can expect to get painful blisters on your big toe or get pinky toe pain. Poorly fitting shoes can also cause blisters on your heels and ankles and even on the top of your foot where the shoe material will rub against your skin.
Blisters are mostly a superficial problem and of course, they can be helped with blister plasters however sometimes they may get infected which has more serious consequences.
If your shoes are too tight look at investing in a shoe stretcher to see if that helps. The next time you buy shoes try and do it in the afternoon when your feet are more swollen so you less likely to buy the wrong size.
Plantar Fasciitis Caused By Lack of Arch Support
Shoes that don’t offer the right support in the arch and heel area can create a problem with the plantar fascia at the bottom of your foot.
This can lead to plantar fasciitis which causes heel pain. Runners tend to be susceptible to the problem but other people can also get the issue if the inner arch is not supported by their footwear.
Buying Dr Scholls’plantar fasciitis insoles can help to prevent the problem. If it has set in and is causing your foot pain think about buying a calf stretcher and foot rocker to help alleviate any pain.
Bad Shoes Cause Foot Deformities
Shoes that don’t fit properly can don’t just cause superficial problems but also foot deformities as well. Prolonged pressure from bad shoes can for example lead to hammer toes and bunions.
Hammer toes where the middle toe joint curls upwards or bunions where the joint grows sideways are bigger problems as they can’t always be resolved without surgery.
If you do start to see the structure of your foot starting to change from ill-fitting footwear change your shoes immediately. Then try using either a hammer toe straightener or a bunion corrector to see if you can rectify your problem before needing to take the surgical root.
Ill-Fitting Shoes Cause Foot Pain
Foot pain is a very obvious sign that you might have a problem with your shoes. Foot pain can be caused either through friction, unsupportive shoes that don’t hold the foot in place, infections or mechanical problems in the foot.
Sometimes the cause of your pain will be immediately obvious such as blisters from wearing bad shoes. At other times it makes sense to see a professional who can assess what might be causing the problem.
A good podiatrist should be your first port of call as they can assess your footwear, gait and foot structure to give you detailed advice on what you would need to do to ease the problem.
Ingrown Toenails From Tight Shoes
Bad shoes that have a narrow toe box and squash the area at the top of your foot can cause problems with your nail plate.
The consequences of wearing shoes that are too tight in the toe area can create ingrown toenails or toenail infections that can be hard to resolve.
Ingrown toenails can be particularly painful and whilst in some cases, the issue can be resolved by a podiatrist other cases may require surgery to fix. There are ingrown toenail kits that you can purchase to try and fix the problem at home. If that doesn’t work consult a medical professional to see if they can help resolve the problem.
Poor Arch Support in Flat and Running Shoes
Certain shoes such as ballet flats may be suitable for wearing for short periods of time but they don’t tend to offer the arch support you need to hold your body weight. A lack of arch support can cause collapsed arches and problems such as tendonitis and plantar fasciitis.
As there are now plenty of great arch support orthotics that you can now purchase to place in your shoes there should be nothing stopping you from resolving that problem yourself. Just find a shoe insert that can support either your arch or heel area and place it in your shoes to prevent foot pain from occurring.
Knee and Ankle Pain Problems
If you don’t stop bad shoe problems quickly remember that they can lead to bigger issues down the road. A lack of supportive or well-fitting shoes can not only cause constantly hurting feet but can also lead to ankle and knee problems.
The effects of wearing bad shoes mean that your foot becomes misaligned. So as you walk on it at the wrong angle it creates further pressure on other areas of your leg. The right shoes protect your feet as they keep the foot at the right angle and create support. Knowing this means you should learn to never try and get away with wearing shoes that aren’t right for your feet as you may suffer bigger consequences down the road.
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