Are Your Shoes Damaging Your Feet?

The basic function of a shoe is to protect our feet. If your shoes are causing your feet damage, then clearly something is not right. There are a few common reasons as to why shoes can damage our feet. Below are a few different ways to stop your footwear from harming your feet. 

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Get the right size

If your shoes are too big or too small, they could start to cause damage to your feet. Corns, calluses and hammer toes are all common symptoms of wearing ill-fitting shoes. It’s important to choose the right shoe size. If you’re buying shoes abroad, consider the fact that different countries have their own shoe size systems. You should be wary that even if a shoe appears to be the right size, there’s a chance that it could be a little too big or too small as shoe sizes are not universal among all manufacturers. Ideally, your shoes should be loose enough that your toes don’t touch the end, but snug enough that there isn’t any movement. 

Be wary of worn soles

Not only will wearing shoes with worn soles give you less grip. It could also cause damage to your feet. If soles aren’t thick enough, you could start to experience issues like plantar fasciitis. Make sure that you throw out any shoes with considerably worn soles in order to protect your feet.

Say no to heels

While many of us love the way we look in heels, it’s no secret that these shoes are terrible for our feet. In fact, they’re not just bad for our feet, but also bad for our knees and our hips and even our back. Wearing heels occasionally won’t cause any lasting damage. But wearing heels regularly will likely lead to problems. This is particularly the case with high stiletto heels – low platform heels are much less damaging. 

Don’t run in sneakers

If you’ve recently taken up running, it could be important to invest in a decent pair of running shoes. Your everyday pair of sneakers may be able to protect your feet if you’re doing a lot of walking, but it won’t provide sufficient protection if you’re running regularly. Unique features of running shoes include a thicker heel and stiffer sole to support impact when running. 

Trim your toenails

Ingrown toenails can sometimes be caused by ill-fitting shoes, but can also be caused by not trimming toenails, leading to pressure on our nails when wearing shoes. This will need to be treated by a podiatrist. Keep on top of toenail trimming to prevent needing treatment (and make sure you’re cutting horizontally across and not in a semi circular shape that can encourage ingrown toenails on the side). 

Wear socks with closed shoes

Socks are designed to catch sweat from our feet. When wearing closed shoes without socks, this sweat ends up on the shoe. Unless you’re washing your shoes after every use, your shoes could quickly become a breeding ground for bacteria, viruses and fungus – which could encourage issues like athletes foot and toenail infections. This is why you should always wear socks with these types of shoes. Invisible socks can create the illusion of not wearing socks and could be worth buying if you want to pull off this look. You’ll be happy to know that socks generally do not need to be worn with open shoes like sandals, because these shoes provide enough ventilation.

Listen to your feet

A reliable way to prevent your shoes from damaging your feet is to simply listen to any foot pain you may experience. If a shoe hurts to wear and other shoes don’t, there is clearly a problem with that shoe and you need to stop wearing it until you’ve fixed it. 


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