"If the shoe fits, wear it." This old adage is not meant to be advice to preserve the health of your feet, but so many people could benefit if they were to take it that way. Wearing ill-fitted shoes is not doing you any favors. Even if your feet seem okay now, years of wearing shoes that are too small, too narrow, or too flat in the arches can result in permanent damage to your feet. Here's a look at three of the consequences you may suffer.
Bunions occur when your big toe starts angling itself inwards towards your other toes. You may also develop a pronounced bump on the inside of your foot where your big toe meets your foot. Bunions can cause aches and pains, and they can rub on your shoes, causing blisters. They're often caused by wearing shoes that are too narrow or by wearing heels. Though you can manage bunion pain with splints and physical therapy, the only way to correct a bunion permanently is with surgery.
Morton's neuroma is a condition in which the tissues around a nerve in your foot swell, putting pressure on that nerve. The result is intense tingling, pain, and the sensation of stepping on a stone whenever you put pressure on the ball of your foot. Morton's neuroma usually arises from wearing shoes that do not have enough arch support and therefore put too much pressure on the ball of your foot. It's also common in women who wear heels. You may get over it with a few months of physical therapy and cortisone injections, but surgery is often required.
Plantar fasciitis is a condition in which the connective tissues that run along the bottom of the foot, near the heel, become swollen and tight. It can cause a sharp pain as you walk, especially in the morning, and may may running and jumping nearly impossible. Plantar fasciitis often results from wearing shoes with too little padding and support. If you have high arches and wear flat shoes, you may also develop this condition. Usually, plantar fasciitis can be treated without surgery, but it takes many patients a few months or longer to recover.
So, the moral of the story is: wear shoes that fit. Stay away from ones that do not. Visit a shoe store near you to have your feet properly measured, and only buy shoes that feel comfortable when you stand and walk in them. Check out sites like http://www.westmorelandfootdoctor.com for more information.