Foot Health

Finding the Right Fit for Healthier Feet

Today, there are countless footwear options. However, many of them are high on style and low on function. In the long-term, picking a pair that looks good, but doesn’t fit great, can do more harm than good and lead to foot injuries and conditions.

When it comes to footwear, people often make these common mistakes:

  • Picking the wrong size – Any shoe can cause foot problems if it’s the wrong size. This includes shoes that are too small, too big, too narrow, too wide or even ones that are not the right shape for your foot. For example, a shoe that isn’t roomy enough in the toe box can hurt your toes, leading to painful blisters, corns and calluses.
  • Wearing shoes with too much cushion – Many people believe more cushion is always a good thing when it comes to footwear. The issue is that many ultra-cushioned shoes don’t have enough structural support.
  • Wearing shoes that cause pain or deformities – It’s common – especially among women – to pick shoes for style, rather than comfort. High heels, for example, can increase pressure on the balls of your feet leading to nerve pain. Sandals are also popular but they often don’t have good arch and heel support, which can lead to plantar fasciitis.

Every foot is different so there isn’t a one-size-fits-all recommendation for picking the best shoes to keep your feet healthy. In general, I recommend shoes with proper support. Remember – you don’t want to pick a shoe that you can easily fold in half, especially if you are working out or will be on your feet for longer periods of time. The best way to find the right fit is to try on shoes to see how they feel when you walk around in them for a bit. If they don’t feel good, they are probably not the right fit for your feet.

Here are some general tips for finding the right fit and keeping your feet healthy:

  • Go shoe shopping at the end of the day when your feet are swollen.
  • Pick shoes with a little room from the end of the longest toe on your foot. You don’t want to wear shoes where your toe is rubbing up against the end.
  • Consider wearing orthotics for additional heel or arch support. Orthotics can also help decrease motion in the front of your foot, leading to greater stability.
  • Keep your feet hydrated by rubbing lotion or cream on the top and bottom of your feet.
  • Avoid putting lotion or cream between your toes – it can lead to excessive wetness. Also make sure you dry between your toes after taking a shower and after getting your feet wet.
  • Visually check your feet daily for calluses and wounds. This is especially important if you have diabetes as nerve damage can make it difficult to feel sores and wounds.

Edward-Elmhurst Health’s team of podiatrists focuses on finding ways to evaluate and treat foot conditions as well as prevent future issues. We offer everything from conservative treatment options to surgical treatments to help you keep your feet healthy over time. To learn more, visit us online or call 630-527-6363.