Fashion Health

Finding the right fit: Why shoes require some serious thought before purchase

January 5, 2018

Ladies, it’s not always about the highest heel, brightest colour or prettiest looking shoe. When you’re browsing for shoes, there are other things to keep in mind. Things that will have an effect on your body if ignored.

It’s about finding the shoe that fits as perfectly as Cinderella’s magic glass slipper.

Foot problems as a result of the “wrong shoe”

There are a few issues that can arise as a result of you forcing your foot into a shoe that’s not right for your foot. Some of these include:

  • Bunions: The bone on the inside of your foot at the joint of your big toe, that’s not supposed to be big and painful. Bunions are either formed because of a hereditary faulty bone structure or incorrect shoe choice. If you don’t mind the prospect of having them surgically removed, what do you think about the four to six month recovery period? It’s not worth the pain and probability of them growing back just so that you can wear your favourite pair of narrow or pointed-toe shoes.
  • Ingrown toenails: Yes, you can get ingrown toenails as a result of wearing the wrong shoes. Especially in the sport-shoe department.  
  • Morton’s Neuroma: Ever have a feeling of numbness, tingling, pain or that there’s a ball of something in your foot? Then you most likely have thickened nerve tissue from compressing your toes in the front of a high-heel or tapered shoe. Surgery is only a last resort option for Morton’s Neuroma and there are several non-surgical solutions to try first. Like, wearing the right shoes, for example.
  • Plantar fasciitis: You may be thinking that the solution is just to stop wearing high-heels and pointy shoes, right? Wrong. Plantar fasciitis presents itself as heel pain and can be caused by flat shoes.
  • Sprained ankle: This one goes without saying. We’ve all had that mini-heart attack moment when our ankles wobble as we’re walking past a crowd of people in our high-heels. All it takes is a slight misstep in the wrong shoe and your ankle is out for about a week.

It is true that many of these foot problems are primarily associated with faulty bones structure that you’re born with, but it’s equally true that by wearing the wrong shoes you are encouraging the problem to develop and get worse over time.

Things to consider when trying shoes on

So, next time you go looking under the “shoes for women” section, take these things into consideration before you make a purchase:

  • Measure your foot: By 14 years old you think you know what your shoe size will be for the rest of your life, when, in fact, just because your foot stops growing, that doesn’t mean your shoe size will stay the same. As you grow older, your arch starts to fall and your foot becomes “longer”, which leads to a new shoe size. There is also the fact that your feet are not identical in size and you should always fit the larger foot and try on shoes near the end of the day when your feet are at their largest.  
  • Match your foot with the shoe shape: The widest part of your foot should fit comfortably with the largest part of the shoe. If not, try a different shoe.
  • Toe space: When you’re trying on shoes, stand up and walk around in them. While you’re walking, think about where your toes are and whether they’re hitting the front of the shoe. Toe space is an important quality that you need in every pair of shoes you own.
  • All about the sole: Protecting your arch and the general comfort of your foot can save you from many of the foot problems out there. Don’t buy shoes that are too big for you because your arch will suffer for it. And lean more towards shoes with thicker soles to cushion your foot and provide stability when you walk or run in them.

The worst types of shoes for your poor little feet

This next list will highlight some of the worst shoes that you can wear for the health of your feet. But, before you throw them all out of your closet, consider some shoe solutions that you can add to what you have to make them more bearable for the now-and-then occasion.

  • Super high heels: You know, the ones you know you can’t really walk in without strategically leaning on your friend or partner’s arm. They were never your friend and your feet will love you if would not wear them out… or ever.
  • Mid to high heels: These in-between stilettos may be easier to walk in but they’re known to cause a painful pressure-bump at the back of the foot.
  • Pumps and flats: Just because they’re flat and don’t lead you to sprain your ankles like your heels do, doesn’t make them much better. There is no arch or foot support in these shoes whatsoever and the pointed tips are the worst for your toes.

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