Ill-Fitting Shoes: Symptoms, Causes & Corrections
Foot pain is just one of the symptoms you might experience when you wear ill-fitting shoes. Ill-fitting shoes include those that are too narrow for the width of your feet and those that are too tight. They can pinch your toes, put too much pressure on your heels, and cause a host of other problems. Looking at the common ill-fitting shoes symptoms is just one way to get an idea of whether you wear the right shoes. You can then look at the causes and corrections that are right for you.
Causes of Ill-Fitting Shoes
You don’t need to spend all day on your feet to struggle with some problems when you wear the wrong shoes. Even if you retired or you work an office job and spend long hours at your desk, your toes can throb by the time you get home. One reason you might buy the wrong shoes is that you bought them at the wrong time. Your feet are smaller in the morning and swell later in the day, which causes them to grow larger. If you spend a lot of time walking or standing, your feet can swell even more.
Another issue is that you might have one foot that is slightly larger than the other. While you don’t need to buy shoes in two different sizes, it’s often helpful to go up by a half size to take some of the pressure off. Many people do not realize that they need to break in new shoes either. It can take a few days or even a few weeks for them to feel as comfortable as you would like. There’s even a chance that your feet hurt because you wore thicker socks than you normally wear.
Signs of an Improper Fit
Wearing shoes that don’t fit right can cause a variety of ill-fitting shoes symptoms. These symptoms can occur in combination with a specific condition you have like diabetes or worsen the symptoms of another condition. Blisters are just one of the symptoms you may experience. A blister looks like a small or large round spot on your foot that fills with liquid or puss. They usually occur when you wear shoes that are too tight that rub against your feet. There’s a risk that the blister will become infected if you don’t take care of it.
Ingrown nails are also common among those who wear the wrong shoes. It’s possible for an ingrown nail to form when you use nail clippers at home and cut too deep or low, but it can also happen because your shoes are too tight. As the toenail attempts to grow, the shoes pinch and push at the nail, pushing it deep into your skin. This causes the nail to grow into the skin instead of out. Ingrow nails can cause a lot of pain and discomfort.
Neuropathy is another symptom of ill-fitting shoes. Often associated with diabetes, this condition causes your feet or toes to feel numb, it can also create a pins and needles sensation that worsens at night. As the condition worsens, you may find that you can no longer feel anything around your feet, which increases your risk of suffering from serious foot injuries such as ulcers. It’s important to speak to your doctor about neuropathy as you cannot reverse the symptoms after a certain point.
Wearing the wrong size shoes can also cause foot pain, especially around your heels. Plantar fasciitis affects the tissue of the same name, which sits on the bottom of your foot near your heel. While it more commonly affects those with flat feet, it can also strike those who wear shoes that are too tight for long periods. If you recently bought new shoes and found that your heels hurt, you may suffer from plantar fasciitis.
You also want to keep an eye out for the signs of athlete’s foot. Athlete’s foot is a condition caused by a fungus that can affect both your feet and toes. It may make your nails appear brittle and thick as well as turn them yellow or white. Athlete’s foot can also make your skin look flaky and dry. Many people develop athlete’s foot from working out in gyms or sharing shower stalls with other people. If your shoes are too tight, you keep your feet from breathing and fighting off the fungus.
Both men and women can develop hammertoe, which affects the four toes next to the big toe. It changes the way your joints bend and keeps your toes from laying as flat as they should. You might develop hammertoe because you wear high heels with pointed toe beds or you wear other shoes with a tight toe box. Hammertoe can cause a lot of pain and also give your toes a permanently bent look.
There’s a risk that you might have bunions, too. Bunions commonly affect the big toe and make it look as though it has a bumpy area on the side of it. When you wear shoes that are too small or too tight, you have to force your feet into them. This forces your big toe into a unique position that causes that bump to form.
The best way to determine if your shoes are the wrong size is to look at whether you suffer from one or more of the common tight shoe symptoms. We listed some of the conditions you might notice above. Do you come home from work or spend time with friends and find that you can’t wait to take off your shoes? You can get relief from the pain and discomfort you experience with some simple corrections.
Corrections for Your Damaged Feet
Diabetes is a medical condition that occurs when a person’s body can no longer regulate and process glucose. Type I diabetics take insulin to control their blood sugar levels, while Type II diabetics take medications. Diabetes is one of the leading causes of neuropathy and often leads to this condition when you have a high blood sugar level for an extended period. Though you might think that you can rely on the standard shoes you always wore, it’s often helpful to switch to diabetic shoes.
Diabetic shoes are both deeper and wider than traditional shoes. They give your feet room to expand during the day. With a firmer and thicker heel, you get more structure and stability. Diabetic shoes often have a non-slip sole to keep you from sliding and more padding around your feet for added comfort. At The Active Foot Store, we offer a wide range of diabetic shoes that are perfect for daily wear.
If you think that you can’t afford a new pair of shoes, keep in mind that Medicare often covers those shoes, especially if you have a Type B plan. As long as you have a diagnosis from a medical doctor, you get one new pair of shoes or molded inserts every year. Your plan should also cover the costs of up to three pairs of custom shoes or inserts, too.
Orthotics are another option for diabetics and others who suffer from tight shoes swollen feet and other symptoms. There are pads and cushions that easily slip into your favorite shoes and make them comfier. You may even find that you feel like you’re walking on air. Pads and cushions offer a lot of support for those struggling with bunions and blisters.
Some people assume that they can only wear orthotics with running shoes or athletic shoes, but they work just as well in sandals. Whether you love hiking sandals that offer a lot of traction on slick trails or dressy sandals for a night out, you can still wear your orthotics. Just make sure that the shape and size of the orthotics match the shape and size of your sandals.
You can also opt for hygiene products to keep your feet clean and fight back against athlete’s foot. Most of these products require that you wash and dry your feet before you apply a lotion or cream to your skin. Wearing a good pair of socks at night helps seal in the products and keeps them from rubbing off on your sheets.
Get Help with Ill-Fitting Shoes
At The Active Foot Store, we offer expert shoe fittings for those who want to avoid the top ill-fitting shoes symptoms. Not only do we measure the size and width of your feet, but we also recommend the best designs for you. If you decide that you want the benefits of new orthotics, we can fit them as well. Wearing shoes that are too tight or too narrow can cause problems immediately and in the coming months such as blisters, bunions, athlete’s foot, hammertoe, and neuropathy. Reach out to us to schedule your expert shoe fitting and get relief from your bad shoes.