Three Footwear Mistakes That Could Cause You Trouble Down The Road

If your feet are sore or injured, you'll have trouble engaging in the most basic activities -- like walking. Unfortunately, a lot of people don't think of the health of their feet until they're already suffering from problems like bunions, hammertoe, or heel spurs. It's better to take a preventative approach and protect your feet from developing these ailments in the first place. One way to accomplish that is to avoid these common footwear mistakes.

Wearing shoes that are the wrong width.

If you shop at a low-cost shoe store, chances are, you'll find shoes in just one or two widths. But these widths are not right for everyone. Wearing shoes that are too narrow will place pressure on your toes, leading to deformities like bunions and hammertoe. Shoes that are too wide will cause your foot to slide around, and the friction can lead to corns and blisters.

Visit a high-quality shoe store, and have your foot measured to determine its width. Then, make sure you purchase shoes in the proper width. You may have to visit specialty shoe stores and pay a little more if you have wide, D or E-width feet, but this will pay off in the long run when your feet stay healthy and comfortable.

Wearing heels.

Slipping on high heels a few times a year for an upscale gala or important job interview is one thing. But wearing them day in and day out is just asking for trouble. A lot of women assume that because they don't currently have pain from wearing heels, they're fine. However, the damage caused by heels builds slowly over time. It's only a matter of time before you wake up with excruciating plantar fasciitis pain, arthritis in your ankles, or painful bunions.

Start wearing shoes with lower heels or no heel at all. If you work in an office where heels are the standard attire, wear them when you first walk in -- but keep a pair of flats under your desk to wear as you sit and any time you do leave to go to lunch or an off-site meeting. Invest in some dressy flats so you're not tempted to wear heels to social events.

Wearing worn-out shoes.

That pair of clogs you've had since you were 16, the sneakers you've been working out in for 3 years, and the decade-old dress shoes that no longer have a liner but look okay when you polish them all have one thing in common -- they're bad for your feet. As you wear shoes, the interiors compress, and the shoes slowly offer less and less support over time. How long your shoes last will depend on how often you wear them. Some signs it's time to retire a pair of shoes include:

  • The sole is visibly worn so that one side is "taller" than the other
  • The liners and padding have fallen out of the shoe interior
  • Your feet feel sore and tired after wearing them

Running shoes should be replaced every 300 to 500 miles, even if they look okay, since the soles can become compacted and no longer offer the cushioning needed to protect against injury.

By choosing shoes in the right width, avoiding heels, and replacing your shoes when they wear out, you can minimize your risk of foot conditions ranging from plantar fasciitis to hammertoe. Contact a company like comfort shoes at Foster's Wide Shoes for more info.