If your toes are sticking out, your shoes are too small, ladiesAccording to a study  by the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society, 88% of women in this country wear shoes that are too small and 55% have bunions.

Why are women picking the wrong shoe size so often? The causes can be numerous. For many women, shoe size will change during or after pregnancy; if you regularly shop for shoes online, however, you may keep ordering the same size you always used to wear, squeezing in your feet once the shoes arrive at your house rather than dealing with the hassle of returning them.

In fact, any type of weight loss or gain can affect your shoe size, so if you’ve recently gone on (or off) a diet, it’s not a bad idea to get your feet re-measured to make sure your existing shoe collection really fits the feet you have now.

And while some people choose the wrong shoe size by mistake, here's a more disturbing bit of information. A recent study from the UK's College of Podiatry showed that, of 2000 adults surveyed, one third of the men and almost half of the women fessed up to buying shoes that don't fit. Knowingly. Given that upsetting bit of information, let's explore what really happens to your feet when they're squeezed into shoes that just don't fit! 


Shoes that Fit are Crucial to Foot Health

What’s the big deal with sizing, you might ask? If my foot can fit in the shoe, how bad for me can it be to wear a pair that’s a bit small? Well, here’s a straight-up answer from a Houston podiatrist: it’s really, really bad.

Did you notice the second statistic the study focused on, about how many women have bunions? Here’s a little secret: that high percentage is directly related to wearing shoes that are too small.

One of the most common causes of bunions (extra bony growths on the outside of your feet) is prolonged wearing of poorly fitted shoes, especially those with narrow toe boxes that squeeze your toes into unnatural positions.

Once bunions have developed, the only way to get rid of them is with surgery; however, you can stop their progression by taking preventative measures that include switching to shoes that really fit your feet.

So here’s the bottom line: If you haven’t had your feet sized in a while, get them measured at a shoe store (preferably at the end of the day, when they’re at their largest due to normal swelling. If you find out your feet aren’t the size you thought they were, get rid of any shoes that are too small for you now and if you have concerns about bunions, schedule an appointment with Dr. Andrew Schneider so we can stop their growth before surgery becomes necessary. 

Dr. Andrew Schneider
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A podiatrist and foot surgeon in Houston, TX.