Foot Care

Foot Problems Caused Or Made Worse By Improper Shoes

Good shoes make the difference between foot health and foot problems in the long term. Who has not worn uncomfortable shoes at one time or another? Due to gender style differences in footwear, women are much more susceptible to foot problems caused by improperly fitting shoes, and they are also more troubled by foot problems that lead to misshapen toes or other unsightly conditions. The good news is that catching problems early and choosing footwear that promotes foot health can keep feet looking and feeling good.

Foot Care

Foot Problems Associated With Poor Shoe Choices

Bunions are most often caused by shoes that fit too tight. Bunions distort the shape of the foot at the big toe, causing tissue and skeletal changes over time. Hammer toes are caused by shoes that press up against the ends of the toes. Usually the second, third and sometimes the fourth toe begin to stay in a curled shape after shoes are removed. Over time the ligaments tighten, giving the “hammer” appearance to toes even when shoes are not being worn. Surgery is often required to fix bunions or hammer toes. Both conditions are usually avoidable by choosing to wear properly fitted footwear.

Crossover toes, corns and ingrown toenails are also associated with poor fitting shoes. Genetic factors that predispose people to foot problems are exacerbated when they do not wear shoes that fit properly. Foot exams performed by a podiatrist easily reveal the potential for trouble for any type of foot problem. A podiatrist is a medical doctor, and can help in choosing footwear that looks good and does not lead to foot problems in the long term.

Better Foot Care Choices for the Long Term

Foot problems that lead to unsightly alterations of the structure of the feet do not happen overnight. They develop slowly over time. Hammer toe may not be noticed until the first joint in an affected toe begins to rub against shoes and cause irritation or abrasion. Unfortunately, many women are used to their feet hurting at the end of the day so they do not notice the long term damage as it is occurring. No footwear should ever be associated with foot pain.

If there is pain that is made worse by wearing a certain type of shoe, then there is something wrong with the foot or shoe. Daily foot hygiene should include a thorough visual inspection of both feet after wearing footwear that is feeling even slightly uncomfortable. Look for red or worn spots. Check for blisters or calloused areas. These symptoms can reveal a problem with footwear, a problem with the structure of the foot, or both.

Though there may be the occasional need to wear shoes that are extraordinarily stylish and not the greatest choice for foot health, those situations should be rare. Wedding receptions are a good example. They are not attended often yet by the end of the evening it is typical for the wedding party and many guests to switch from dress shoes to something more comfortable. Female guests often choose to go barefoot rather than endure another moment in heels. At a minimum, light exercise such as brisk walking should be able to be performed in any footwear chosen for daily or extended wear. Remember, uncomfortable shoes lead to foot problems in the long term. An occasional formal event in uncomfortable shoes is not likely to be a problem, but the daily footwear choice very well could be.