If your feet suffer from corns and blisters or if they’re sore and tired at the end of every day, take a look at your shoes. The shoes you wear play an enormous role in keeping your feet happy, healthy, and functional. Stylish shoes are fun, but they shouldn’t make your feet hurt. Shoes should be comfortable – period.
Clifton Foot & Ankle Center’s board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Kenneth R. Wilhelm, doesn’t recommend shoes that chafe, rub, place your toes in a vise-like grip, or make you feel like you might topple over any second. Dr. Wilhelm offers these five suggestions for making your shoes – and your feet – more comfortable.
- Measure your feet. It may surprise you to know your shoe size can change as you get older. Older feet can flatten as the ligaments forming your arch loosen up. If you haven’t measured your foot since Prom 1979, you might be wearing the wrong size. You might need longer or wider shoes. Bunions, hammertoes, corns, and ingrown toenails can all be traced back to shoes that are too tight.
- Try wearing orthotics. You’ll find hundreds of shoe inserts online that promise help for runners, those with flat feet, and wearers of high heels. Better yet, ask Dr. Wilhelm if custom orthotics, made to fit your feet perfectly and address your specific problem, are right for you.
- Buy a different style. If your toes hurt, opt for shoes with a bigger, wider toe box. If your whole foot gets tired easily, try switching from slip-on to lace-up shoes, which provide more support.
- Wear socks. Socks provide a cushion between shoe and skin, protecting skin from irritation. Socks also absorb sweat or whisk sweat away from your skin. Your feet stay dry and less prone to blisters, fungal infections, and foot odor.
- Lower the heels. If you regularly wear high heels, don’t wear them for hours at a time. Consider switching to a lower heel height and alternate heels with lower shoes for maximum foot comfort.
If these simple changes in how you buy and wear shoes don’t help your foot pain, make an appointment at our podiatry office in Centreville (Fairfax County), Virginia. Call (703) 996-3000 or contact us online.