By Rachel Song
Foot health obtains varying levels of priority in American society. Like our attitude towards other matters of health, most of us only start to worry about our feet when we start to experience problems. Statistics show that foot health issues are highly likely to occur with 88% of women wearing shoes too small and 55% developing the associated foot conditions such as bunions, which is 9 times more common in women than in men.
There are several different ways you can develop this condition but the biggest culprit is ill-fitting shoes that pinch the toes and compress the foot.
Here are a few examples of footwear that can cause and worsen bunions & other foot conditions:
- The pointed-toe shoe
Shoes that are too narrow are bad for your feet because they compress your foot causing a protective barrier around the nerves within to break down. As fluid builds up, you may experience inflammation and discomfort that eventually translate into foot deformities. The pointed toe can even force your toes to squeeze on top of one another which can lead up to a permanent deformity called crossover toe. Also common are calluses that form between the toes as they chafe together.
- Small shoes
Shoes that are short in length relative to your feet can also cause a wide range of foot issues. Hammertoe is a common consequence of wearing shoes too small. Although this tip may seem obvious, many women don’t wear shoes that are the correct length. There should be at least an inch of space between the tip of your big toe and the tip of your shoe to accommodate the shifting of your foot within the shoe as you walk in them. To get your feet properly measured, visit a local footwear retailer or try the insert removal test to check shoes for the proper length featured in the video (1:48) below.
- High heels
High heels put an abnormal amount of pressure on your forefoot and strain the tendons and ligaments along your foot. Yet we all know that heels are hard to resist especially on special occasions. For those days, try opting for a lower heel to reduce the strain on your foot and make sure to do some foot stretches at the end of the day!
While the search for fashionable yet healthy shoes may seem daunting, the rise of comfort footwear brands makes it a lot simpler than you’d think! Brands such as Aetrex cater specifically to health-conscious people who value comfort and wellbeing using innovative technologies such as Lynco orthotics for better support, balance, & alignment, slow-recovery memory foam, and PU midsoles for shock absorption & resilience. They also create wider toe boxes to accommodate the natural shape of the human foot! This couldn’t be a better time to reevaluate your shoe collection to prevent or alleviate painful foot conditions.