Ideal shoes protect your feet and provide the proper cushioning and support. On the other hand, inadequately fitting shoes have negative effects in the short and long term on foot health.
The team at Optima Foot and Ankle, located in Bend, Oregon, is here to help you take the best care of your feet and ankles possible. Shoe fit and quality are often underestimated aspects of optimal foot care. Whether you wear high heels for long periods or other types of ill-fitting shoes, the impact on your feet over time can be detrimental.
Continue reading to find out why shoe fit is so important and six of the most common foot problems caused by ill-fitting shoes.
Bunions are bony protrusions that develop at the base of the big toe. This painful issue occurs when continuous pressure against your big toe pushes the metatarsophalangeal joint out of line. Shoes that are too narrow and lack enough toe space can crowd and cramp your toes, causing a bunion to form.
Bunions don’t happen overnight. Instead, they’re the result of gradual changes in your ligaments, bones, and tendons. Changing your shoes to better suit your toes can help you avoid irreparable alterations that only surgery can repair.
Morton's neuroma is another problem associated with ill-fitting shoes. The condition develops when the tissue surrounding a nerve in the ball of your foot thickens, causing pain and discomfort. Morton's neuroma is frequently caused by wearing high heels or shoes that are overly tight.
While rarely life-threatening (unless you have diabetes), an ingrown toenail can be excruciatingly painful. This issue, which most commonly affects your big toe, arises when your nail grows into the flesh along the sides. While some people develop ingrown toenails as a result of abnormally bent nails, others develop the problem as a result of shoes that squeeze the toes.
Calluses and corns can be extremely painful. These thick, hard areas of skin develop when there is excessive friction or pressure against parts of the foot (think balls of your feet). Corns and calluses are typically caused by ill-fitting shoes.
A hammertoe can arise when the muscles and tendons in your foot are out of balance. Ill-fitting shoes can exacerbate existing hammertoes and foster this imbalance.
People with diabetes must be especially attentive about the health of their feet due to nerve damage. If you have diabetes, you risk developing blisters that evolve into open sores, which can become a much worse problem if not properly healed.
Taking good care of your feet is essential to your overall health. Millions of people experience foot problems related to footwear and may be unaware of the impact their shoe choice has on their foot health. You can count on our Optima Foot and Ankle team to address your foot issues and provide guidance on choosing the best footwear to keep your feet healthy.
To learn more, schedule a visit with an Optima Foot and Ankle provider by calling or requesting an appointment online today.