Ill-fitted shoes lead to injuries, back pain and more: Here's how you can avoid it
Wearing ill-fitting shoes can also lead to osteoarthritis of the knee, lower back pain, injured leg muscles and ligaments too.
Shoes come in so many colours, styles and sizes that can make or break your entire look. The shoes you wear can also speak volumes about your personality.
Shoes are some of the best inventions humankind has made because they provide the protection and care your feet truly deserve. However, if you’re buying the wrong shoes you’re doing an immense disservice to yourself and harming your feet. Ill-fitting shoes won’t just make walking but even standing painful. It can even lead to several other health issues. A study, published in the Journal of Foot and Ankle Research in 2018, states that wearing shoes that do not accommodate the length or width dimensions of your feet can lead to deformities, corns and calluses. Wearing ill-fitting shoes can also lead to osteoarthritis of the knee, lower back pain, injured leg muscles and ligaments too.
How to get happy feet
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, buying shoes that are not appropriate for the shape and size of your feet can lead to many deformities, and once you have these deformities, treating them can be painful and some can only be corrected through surgeries.
With online shopping ruling our lives these days, chances are that you are buying ill-fitted shoes and continuing to wear them even when they don’t fit perfectly. While the key to buying footwear should be to find shoes that approximate the shape and size of your feet, most people end up assuming that you can “break into” shoes and they will expand to fit you better with time.
This is not true, and one of the main reasons why you may be wearing ill-fitted shoes and harming your feet. Instead of continuing with this pattern, take a few extra minutes while shopping for shoes to check for all possible problems.
Tips for buying shoes:
- It’s best to physically go to a store and buy shoes to ensure they fit you. It will also save you time and money instead of making you wait for an online store to exchange them.
- Your feet naturally expand with use as the day goes by, so buying them in the mornings or evenings is not a good option. Choose to shop for shoes in the afternoon to get the right fit.
- Feet change with age and often grow larger or wider. You should always have the salesperson measure both your feet while buying shoes. If one foot is larger than the other, buy shoes that fit the larger size.
- Put on both shoes and stand up. Press the top of the shoe to make sure there’s a half-inch gap between the tip of your big toe and the top end of the shoe. Wriggle your toes to make sure they have enough space.
- Pay attention to the width of the shoes as well as the length. No part of your feet should feel compressed or too tight.
- Walk around in the shoes to make sure they fit snugly and don’t pinch or slip off. Make sure there is enough room around the balls of your feet. Walk on both hard and carpeted surfaces to be sure.
- Check the inside of the shoes to make sure there is nothing that can irritate or scrape your feet as you walk.
- Examine the soles of the shoe. They should be sturdy enough to protect you from sharp objects, ridged to improve traction, and should ideally also provide some cushioning to ease stress.
- Don’t think your shoes will expand and fit better with time. Buy shoes that fit well, right from the start.
- Don’t buy shoes by their size. The size can vary from one manufacturer to the other, so it’s best to rely on the demands of your own feet rather than going by a general size chart.
For more information, read our article on Foot Pain: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and Prevention.
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