Foot Problems Associated with Tight Footwear

Foot Problems Associated with Tight Footwear

There is something to be said about fashionable footwear; however, when fashion wins over function, the result is often foot pain. When it comes to stylish footwear, many people prefer shoes that make their feet appear smaller – but you might choose shoes that are either too short or narrow for the foot by doing this.

Due to the complex anatomy of the foot, wearing tight shoes can lead to a variety of foot conditions that aren’t worth their stylish appearance.

Problems with tight shoes

Problems With Tight Shoes

The toes are the primary areas of the foot affected by wearing shoes that are too tight. For instance, painful ingrown toenails are often caused by wearing shoes that are either too short or narrow. Pressure against the nail bed can cause the nail to grow into the skin, rather than out.

Corns and calluses can also form on the toes as a barrier against a shoe that is too tight. Beyond callusing, a more permanent disfigurement called a bunion can form when you wear shoes that are too small. Although bunions are often hereditary, having the pressure of a shoe against a joint can help this condition progress.

Inspect your foot after wearing a new shoe. If you notice redness or indentations on your foot, these shoes could increase the risk of any of these conditions.

In other cases, the effects of wearing shoes that are too small are not visible to the naked eye. Metatarsalgia is a condition that involves pain, often in the ball of the foot.

Many bones and nerves, among other components, make up the front of the foot. Imagine taking a vice and slightly squeezing these parts together; you can also imagine the injury that may result. Over time, wearing a shoe that is too tight will have a similar effect.

A Morton’s Neuroma is a condition that involves numbness, tingling, or burning in the toes due to the thickening of the sheath around the nerve. A neuroma likely develops due to an irritation of the nerve, similar to why calluses form over a high-pressure area, both of which tight-fitting footwear can accelerate the growth of.

Getting The Right Fit

The next time you are shopping for new shoes, visit a trained professional with expertise in footwear fit and function, such as a Certified Pedorthist. We recommend going later in the afternoon when your feet are slightly swollen and at their largest size.

A fitting expert will measure the length and width of your foot, and use their knowledge of footwear brands and styles to choose the right one for you. Every brand of shoe fits slightly different. Therefore, it is important to focus on how your foot fits in the shoe rather than the number on the inside of the tongue.

Properly fitting running shoes will help you when you start running.

Look for about half of a thumb-width of room at the end of your toe for a casual shoe, and up to a full thumb-width for an athletic shoe. Avoid shoes that are too narrow; this may cause the sides of your foot to push out and beyond the sole of the shoe.

Finally, be sure to choose a shoe that does not create initial points of friction against your foot. For example, rubbing on the tops of your toes or the backs of your heels). If you notice any issues walking around the store, it could become a bigger problem down the road.

Talk To An Expert Today!

We expect a lot from our feet, so they least we can do is to give them a break and avoid shoes that are too small. Based on my experience of fitting thousands of shoes over the past seven years, I always say that it’s better to have a shoe slightly too big than slightly too small.

Visit a Kintec location near you, and ask a fitting expert or Pedorthists about finding the proper fit for you!

Chelsea Brown
Kintec Pedorthist, Chilliwack Store Manager

4 Comments
  • Denisse White

    January 13, 2019 at 9:54 pm Reply

    Hello,
    I bought a pair of winter boots a few days ago. I went with a slightly bigger pair becasue they are boots but I put insoles to have a better fit. they did not feel too too tight with the insoles but after two hours of wearing them my right foot was in great pain, like all the bones connecting the toes were aching, but my big toe was especially bad. The company is not taking them back as i wore them outside for a while. Now my toe is slightly better and i am thinking perhaps if i can wear them without the insoles they would feel more comfortable but i am so afraid that it will hurt again. Do you have any insights as to why this might have happened? and would you suggest trying them one more time without the insoles? Thank you so much for your time in advance!

    • Kintec

      January 14, 2019 at 9:29 am Reply

      Hey Denisse, thank you for your question. Do you live near a Kintec location? If so, we can assess you in person and find out what solution works best for you. All of our locations can be found here: https://www.kintec.net/contact-us/

      If not, we would recommend finding a Canadian Certified Pedorthist to speak to here: https://www.pedorthic.ca/find-a-pedorthist. They will be able to make more accurate recommendations if they speak to you in person.

  • Janis Roberts

    February 4, 2019 at 4:43 pm Reply

    Hi so I bought clogs for my phlebotomy class last week. They felt fine at first, and then my left foot felt too tight in it. It’s a five hour class so I had to tough it out. I’ve oly worn them once. Now, I don’t know if this has to do with it but 5 days later and randomly when I was wearing my ugg boots I had this pain in the same foot. I couldn’t bend my big toe to walk or I get this shooting pain through the top of my foot on the medial side. For the past two hours I’ve not been able to walk properly. I’m resting it now, but taking off the boot also activated the pain as well.

    • Kintec

      February 13, 2019 at 4:06 pm Reply

      That doesn’t sound good! If you can, come to a Kintec near you to talk to a pedorthist about your symptoms. They will be able to help you find a solution, or at least point you in the right direction.

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