SUMMARY: Got a foot problem? You might have to ditch that shoe and get a more comfortable one. You can still look fab and not experience any pain as long as you know how to pick your next footwear!
Your choice of footwear plays a huge role in the development or avoidance of toe and foot problems, such as bunions, plantar fasciitis, hammertoes, corns and calluses. These conditions can be painful, and using the wrong footwear will just worsen the pain. By using the right footwear, you can stop these foot problems from getting worse.
Wearing shoes that are comfortable and fit your feet nicely gives you a good chance of preventing toe and foot problems from getting worse. It also relieves toe pain and foot pain caused by a joint problem or a deformity.
Finding the Right Shoes
People with existing foot problems usually prefer sandals or athletic shoes that don’t rub on their bunions, corns or calluses, or hammertoes. You may also have your shoes modified so that they are more comfortable. With all the options available, you can find shoes that cause little to no pain and permit your feet to function optimally.Before you shop for new shoes, talk to your foot doctor and ask for recommendations depending on your needs.
Here are a couple of things you have to consider when buying new footwear:
- Because of normal swelling, feet are at their largest at the end of the day. This means that you should try on new shoes at this time of the day.
- If you make use of shoe inserts or different orthotics, take them with you so you can test them out in different shoes.
- The size and width of your feet may change as you age. Thus, it is important for your feet to be measured before buying new footwear. One of your foot is larger than the other, and measuring both allows you to identify which one is larger. You want good-fitting shoes, so pick your new shoes according to how the larger foot feels in a particular shoe.
- Stand during the fitting to have an accurate sense of how the shoe fits.
- Focus on how a shoe feels when you fit it, rather than its size. Go for one that feels comfortable even if it is not your usual size.
- If a shoe fits snugly, ask the clerk to stretch the shoe so that it will fit better.
Looking for the Right Fit
- Stay away from narrow, high-heeled, or pointed shoes. High heels put too much pressure on the front of your foot and the joints of the toe. If you really need to wear high heels, choose those with heels that are not more than 2 inches.
- Look for a wide, deep, and big toe box. This is the area that surrounds your toes. The space between the end of the shoe and your longest toe should be roughly half an inch. You should still be able to wiggle your toes when wearing shoes.
- The heel counter has to be cushioned yet rigid so that your foot won’t slip out of the shoe. You also need flexible soles so your toes can bend while you walk.
- The ball of foot should fit snugly in the widest portion of the shoe.
- Go for lace-up shoes over slip-on footwear.
- You want shoes that breathe whenever your feet sweat, so avoid footwear made of vinyl or plastic.
- Pick shoes that don’t have seams that may irritate the skin of the foot.
What Footwear to Use At Home
Wear slippers, sandals, or flat shoes made of leather when you are at home. You can also shop for cheap cloth shoes and cut a hole over the area with the foot problem. If you don’t have diabetes or peripheral arterial disease, you can walk barefoot when you can or just wear socks. Those with limited sensation in their feet are not advised to walk barefoot because injuries may stay unnoticed and even become infected.