Why Proper Fitting Shoes are Important for Maintaining Healthy Feet

Why Proper Fitting Shoes are Important for Maintaining Healthy Feet

Every once in a while, you find a pair of shoes that perfectly emulates your style and fits perfectly…almost. When shoes are too small, too narrow, have no arch support, or have excessively high heels, they can impact your foot health without you realizing it until the damage is done and potentially hard to fix. 

Wearing shoes that fit properly is a cornerstone of foot care, and it’s one of the easiest steps you can take in preventing podiatric complications like plantar fasciitis or bunions. The next time you’re in the shoe aisle, you should emphasize function over form and choose supportive footwear in your size. 

Here at Lake Erie Podiatry in Erie, Pennsylvania, podiatrist Michael Ruiz, DPM, diagnoses and treats the many conditions and injuries that often arise as the result of ill-fitting footwear. Find out why supportive shoes that fit are essential for great foot health. 

Shoes that fit well prevent complications

While shopping for shoes, you may be drawn to a six-inch heel, a cheap flat, or a pair that’s not available in your size. While these options might fit the occasion for which you’re buying them, their design or fit can put your feet at risk. The risk is especially high if you wear the shoes often or for an extended period of time. 

Your podiatrist can teach you the ins and outs of shoe shopping with foot health in mind. Shoes with a good fit:

If your choice comes to choosing a pair either a size up or a size down from a size that fits perfectly, it’s best to go up a size. Still, you should aim for shoes that offer space and support. When possible, avoid the common misbelief that you can “break in” a pair of shoes that’s slightly too tight. 

What happens when you wear ill-fitting shoes

You might be able to get away with wearing a pair of shoes that fits improperly once or twice, but regular or long-term wear of an ill-fitting pair of shoes leaves you prone to a number of common podiatric complications depending on the specific issue with the shoe’s fit. Some common examples are:

Blisters and corns

Blisters and corns develop on parts of the feet that experience a lot of friction, often from a shoe being too small or too narrow. Continuing to wear small or narrow shoes aggravates corns and bunions and makes it harder to get rid of them. 

Bunions

Bunions develop on the base of the big toe, and pressure on the joint is often a major cause or contributing factor. You can get or worsen a bunion by wearing high heels or shoes that are too small in the toe.

Plantar fasciitis

Ill-fitting shoes are a prevalent cause of plantar fasciitis, which causes pain on the bottom of the foot or heel. A lack of support causes strain on the plantar fascia, which is the band of tissue extending from the heel to the toes. 

How to improve the fit of a shoe

You may be wondering if there’s any compromise you can make to keep those shoes without an arch, even if you’re prone to plantar fasciitis and other complications. While they’re not a universal fix for all shoes that don’t fit properly, custom orthotics can make your shoes more comfortable and more supportive. Still, for shoes that are narrow or small, the best option is to find an alternative pair that fits better.  

Getting help for foot pain and complications

Conditions that develop because of shoes that don’t fit properly can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. If you experience foot problems or struggle to find properly fitting footwear, schedule an appointment over the phone or online at Lake Erie Podiatry today. 

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