Updated: Jan 30
If you love shoes as much as we do, then you’ve probably had the dreaded experience of putting on a brand new pair in the morning just to get painful cuts within an hour, leaving you limping with bandaids falling off your feet for the rest of the day. Last week we talked about ways to avoid painful issues such as this one with some simple at-home tips and tricks to adjust shoes to your foot. But did you know that getting the fit adjusted can save you big on medical bills too?
We know it might be difficult to resist wearing that beautiful pair of heels straight out of the box, but with one of our cobbler’s specialties being orthopedic adjustments and shoemaking, you can bet he takes the potential risks seriously (take it from the heel-loving daughter half of the team!). While it’s true that some shoes might just need a little breaking in, many don’t realize that wearing ill-fitting shoes can actually cause a plethora of painful complications. There’s a big difference between smiling and bearing temporary discomfort or causing yourself long-term medical issues.
Cuts, Corns, Calluses, Oh My!
Of the less severe complications of wearing ill-fitting shoes are corns, calluses, and blisters, which are the result of friction from shoes constantly rubbing against the skin. These can be caused by any type of shoes, from sneakers to high heels, but happen most commonly with shoes that are too tight in one or more areas. Luckily, these discomforts can easily be avoided with some simple stretching and wearing moisture wicking socks or stockings.
Another common consequence of wearing shoes that are too small is ingrown nails, which happen when your nail grows abnormally into the skin surrounding your nail bed as a result of tight shoes applying too much pressure to your toes. Ingrown toenails cause painful inflammation and redness of the nail bed, and can even become infected if not treated properly. While you can reduce your risk of ingrown toenails by making sure you’re not trimming your nails too short or rounded at the edges, ensuring that the toe box of your shoes have plenty of space for your foot by buying the correct size and/or getting them stretched is also an important factor.
Foot Pain and Conditions
While blisters and ingrown nails may not seem so scary, wearing tight shoes can also lead to a variety of more serious, and painful, conditions which cause bone pain and even deformities. When your foot is being pressed too tight, with pressure on your joints for extended periods of time, the joints can actually start to move. Bunions happen when your joints slowly move and jut out in a bump at the base of your big or pinky toe and can also be caused by narrow shoes, or even wearing high heels too often.
If you experience pain at the bottom of your heels, even when you’re not wearing shoes at all, you may have developed plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis, otherwise known as policeman’s heel, is characterized by inflammation of your plantar fascia, or the thick band of tissue connecting the heel bone to the toes. It can develop from having flat feet or a sudden increase in activity, but is worsened by wearing ill-fitting shoes. To avoid developing or exacerbating this condition, you can get your shoes custom fitted, or try wearing orthopedics.
Achy Breaky Back
While it may seem that a tight fit is the main cause to most assorted ailments, tight shoes aren’t the only culprit; wearing loose shoes can lead to some serious damage as well. Wearing shoes that are too big, especially if your foot slips out with every step, can actually change the way you walk in a dysfunctional and unnatural way. Instead of your shoe supporting your foot, you may curl your toes or alter your weight distribution so your foot supports your shoe. This altered walking pattern can not only lead to the development or worsening of conditions such as bunions, but can also result in chronic back pain.
Moral of the Story
We can probably agree that the most obvious takeaway is to ensure you’re buying the right shoe size right off the bat, however, things happen. Maybe the sizing chart for your online order was incorrect or the flats felt comfortable when you tried them on in-store but started getting painful after longer wear time. We get it, that’s why when you come to the shop with shoes that rub, squeeze, or overall fit you the wrong way, we take care in taking our measurements and pinpointing precise problem areas to ensure you go home with the perfect fit; your personalized Cinderella slipper!