Why Selecting A Right Size Of Shoes Important?

Footwear complements the human foot. When the right pair of shoes is fitted, it supports gait, increases confidence level, and gives comfort to the feet. But on the other hand, when the wrong size foot is fitted, it can lead to more than pain. Normally, shoes act as a protective element for the health of the foot and can reduce the pressure and force of the foot while walking. But when an inappropriate or wrong-sized shoe is worn, it can act in a reverse way.  It can cause significant damage to the foot. 

Both shoes that are too small and shoes that are too large can cause deformities and harm to a person’s health. This is because wearing shoes that are too small could lead to an increase in the pressure on the foot. Whereas on the other hand, wearing shoes that are too large could make your foot slide inside the foot.

Why Selecting A Right Size Of Shoes Important?


Wearing the wrong size shoe is not uncommon, but a common mistake done by a lot of people. Research has shown that the percentage of adults wearing the wrong size shoe is high and is one of the common causes of complaints about foot deformities. Incorrect size adjustment could lead to disability, pain, limitations in doing different activities, muscle imbalance, loss of postural stability, and increased chances of fall. 

Consequences of wearing the wrong size shoe

1. Hammertoe 

Hammertoe is a problem that is characterized by the bending of one or both joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toe. Normally it starts as a mild deformity but over time it worsens.  Hammertoes are of two types:

  • Flexible hammertoes - This is a mild form of hammer toes as it is at the developmental stage and are still movable at the joints. 
  • Rigid hammertoes - This is a serious and developed stage in which the tendons have become tight and require special medical treatment. 

The abnormal bending of the joints causes extreme pressure on the toes. Muscle imbalance is the most common cause of this abnormal bending as the imbalance leads to a bending of the toes due to structural changes in the foot. 

Multiple studies have shown that hammers toe can occur due to shoes that don’t fit properly. It can occur if a toe is too long and is forced to get into the shoe that is too tight. Some of the common symptoms of hammers toe include:

  • Build up of skin on the toe 
  • Pain in the affected toe 
  • Inflammation and redness 
  • Contracture of the toe 

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2. Athlete's foot 

Athlete’s foot, also known as tinea pedis is a skin infection which is characterized by itching, blistering of the skin, redness, and scaling. It occurs in the moist or waterlogged skin and the skin between fourth and fifth toes are more likely to get attacked. Athlete’s foot is of two types:

  • Acute athlete’s foot - Most often it is followed by the activities that cause feet to sweat and it begins as itchy and painful red blisters between the toes and soles of the feet. It is usually self-limiting and recurrent. 
  • Chronic athlete’s foot - It begins with the itching, scaling, and redness of the skin which progresses slowly. It generally begins in between the toes and later spreads to the sole of the foot, side of the foot, and on the top of the foot. 

Wearing tight fitted shoes is a common cause as wearing tight-fitted shoes cause the feet to become sweaty which triggers this problem. Proper foot hygiene and self-care is the easiest way to reduce the risk of developing this foot problem. It is highly contagious and one can catch the fungus from anywhere. 

3. Bunion 

Bunions are a common foot deformity which is characterized as a bump on the side of the big toe. This causes the big toe to lean towards the second toe rather than pointing straight. Some of the symptoms that occur at the site of a bunion include:

  • Burning sensation
  • Numbness
  • Widening of the foot 
  • Pain 
  • Inflammation 
  • Redness

Generally, bunions occur when too much pressure is being placed on the inside of the foot at the base of the big toe. This causes the toe to lean towards other toes. 

4. Corns and calluses 

Corn is defined as a hard and thickened skin that can occur on the top, between, and the tip of the toes. The callus is also same in nature but they are larger in size and occurs across the ball of the foot. Corns and calluses generally occur due to repeated friction and pressure. 

When the amount of friction or pressure is low over a long period, it causes corns and calluses but when this pressure is in large amount, it causes blisters and sores. People who have certain deformities in the foot are at high risk of suffering from corns and calluses.  

Some of the points you should remember while buying shoes:

  • Do not purchase shoes that feel tight, expecting them to stretch over time. 
  • Make sure that your heel fits comfortably in the shoe with the minimum amount of slippage. 
  • Wear shoes and make sure that they are comfortable. 
  • Many times, people have one foot larger than the other. Buy a size that fits the larger foot.   
  • Buy shoes that are slightly wider across the toes.





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