Do Your Shoes Fit Properly?

From the moment you hop out of bed until you go to sleep at night, your feet are hard at work, providing mobility, balance, and support. When you hamper their ability to function by wearing poorly fitting shoes, you can experience discomfort and harmful structural changes in your feet.

As foot care specialists, the team here at Neuhaus Foot and Ankle is tasked with ensuring the health of these all-important appendages. While there’s much we can do to help you move through the world comfortably, you can also do your part by choosing a shoe that fits.

The dangers of ill-fitting shoes

While scare tactics may not make the best motivators, it’s important to understand the risk of wearing shoes that don’t fit properly. Many of the more common foot problems we see here at our practice are caused (or exacerbated) by ill-fitting shoes, including:

While we can easily remedy some of these issues, others are irreversible once they take hold and require more aggressive solutions, such as surgery.

Finding a shoe that fits

There are several rules of thumb for fitting shoes to your feet. First, with all of the online ordering we do today, it’s important to still get your feet regularly sized in person, as their size and shape can change over time. If your feet are different sizes, always accommodate the larger foot when buying shoes.

Next, it’s important to make sure that your toes have room to spread out. Think of the size of your feet in relation to your body, and you quickly realize that you need every square inch of your foot to bear its weight.

If your shoes crowd your toes, you compromise your balance, and the workload isn’t spread out evenly. That results in placing too much pressure on areas that weren’t designed for it, which can lead to structural changes like bunions and hammertoes as your feet try to adapt to the imbalance.

Instead, find shoes where your toes can spread out with about ⅜” of space between the end of your toes and the shoe when you’re standing.

You should also spend some time in the shoes — walk around and make sure that the entire sole of your foot feels well supported and that you have ample support around the sides and top of your foot.

This last point is especially important for athletic shoes of any kind. There’s no shortage of athletic footwear, and you should choose a shoe that suits your activity — good traction for hiking, ankle support for jumping, etc.

A little help

Another great way to ensure that your feet have the tools they need for optimal function is to outfit your shoes with custom orthotics. Our specialists can evaluate your feet and design an insert that provides you with proper support.

If you have more questions about fitting shoes properly, contact one of our locations in Hermitage, Brentwood, Nashville, Mount Juliet, Waverly, Smyrna, Gallatin, or Lebanon, Tennessee.

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