The purpose of most footwear is to protect your feet. However, it seems that nowadays people would focus more on styles instead of the “protection” purpose. As a result, foot pain, foot strain, and a lot of other major foot problems are caused by wearing the wrong shoes.
Some researches at some U.S institutions showed that there is about 72% of American who wear the wrong shoes size. Among them, about 40% encounter foot problems. And one third of those people would end up with some sort of surgery.
Reports from podiatrists said that more and more people come to them for foot problems such as numbness, pain, walking difficulties, infections, ingrown toe nails, fungus, etc. These problems are all usually resulted from wearing the wrong size or not suitable shoes.
Some patients argue, “but people who wear the same shoe size as I also wear these shoes, how come they don’t get foot problem?”
Many people don’t know that shoes professional/ researchers divided human foot into five different types and each type has their unique characteristics.
- The Egyptian type – the big toe is the longest toe
- The Greece type – the second toe is the longest (the easiest to choose shoes)
- The square type – the second and third toes are the same length
- The type where all five toes are spread out (hard to find suitable shoes)
- The type where some toes overlap (hardest to find the right shoes)
Moreover, the arch, heel, width, and length of each individual’s foot are also very different. Therefore, wearing the same certain type of shoes doesn’t necessarily mean the outcomes are also the same.
The human feet would change shape and size as they ages. Old age commonly results in longer and wider feet. Researches have shown that daily activities also affect foot size; doing a lot of sports could also increase foot size. Pregnancy can cause the feet to bloat. Therefore, at certain time, it’s always best to re-measure your feet before choosing a pair of shoes to make sure they’re suitable.
Today, there are all kinds of shoes in the market, but each kind only suit certain foot type. For example:
- Ballet flat – these are flat heels (suitable for flatter arch, study, and flexible feet)
- High heels – suitable for people who have the Greece type foot and not suitable for those who are on their feet a lot.
- Charles IX – shoes with a strap to secure the foot while wearing
- Slip on shoes – low in heels and suitable for those with back problem
- High heel boots – usually for fashion, not really for protection
There are so many types of foot, that’s why one must have a thorough understanding of their foot type in order to prevent major foot problems.
Some rules for heels:
– The height of the heels should not exceed 5cm
– The mid heel should not exceed 2.5cm
– The width should be larger than 2cm
– The angle should not exceed 10-degree angle.
Some tips for measuring shoe size:
– The length should be measured from the longest toenail to the heel plus 2/3cm
– The width should be measured from the bone of the big toe to the pinky
– If both your feet are not the same size, always choose shoe size that fit the larger foot.
Tips in finding a quality pair of shoes:
- Always choose shoes that have sturdy heels
- Shoes point should be soft and flexible (flip them backward and they should return to the same shape)
- The shape of the shoe sole should match the shape of your foot
- See if the stiches will cause any uncomforting
- Always go shoe shopping in the late afternoon because that’s when the foot size is the most accurate.
To prevent foot problems, the best thing to do is to replace shoes that are not the right size with more suitable ones. Add a layer of shoe comfort insole to support your feet if necessary. And always consult with a podiatrist before taking any antibiotic medication.
Although foot massage is recommended (each time should not exceed 30 minutes), people with diabetes should not get foot massage or soak their feet in warm water.
Never shave off calluses or take care of foot problems at home but always go see a doctor.