Some people are born with a specific foot problem like club foot, which affects about 1 in 1,000 newborns. Others come into the world carrying the genes that Papa gave them – so they’ll probably inherit his bunions sometime in the future. Still, others may be blessed with excellent foot anatomy, but their choice of shoes puts them directly on the path that leads to foot surgeon Kenneth R. Wilhelm, DPM at Clifton Foot & Ankle Center.

Shoes that are too tight, too loose, or offer nothing in the way of support can contribute to a long list of foot ailments, including:

  • bunions
  • hammertoes
  • plantar fasciitis
  • ingrown toenails
  • blisters
  • neuromas
  • corns and calluses
  • metatarsalgia (ball of foot pain)
  • and more!

So, how do you pick the right shoes?

Dr. Wilhelm offers these guidelines:

  • Your feet will be somewhat larger after you’ve spent some time using them, so shop for shoes at the end of the day.
  • Measure your feet each time you shop for shoes. Feet rarely remain the same size throughout your adult life. They can flatten out or get wider as you age and after pregnancy.
  • Choose shoes with plenty of toe room (no pinching), a smooth interior without seams that can chafe, and a heel that fits snugly.
  • Try on both shoes and take them for a test walk; then, take them off and examine your feet for redness or other signs of excess pressure.
  • Be wary of high heels. They put a lot of pressure on the balls of your feet. If you do choose to wear them, avoid problems long-term by alternating them with lower-heeled styles.

Shoes that fit well certainly contribute to keeping your feet as healthy as possible. Unfortunately, they can’t eliminate all foot problems. When pain does strike anywhere from your toes to your ankles, make an appointment with Dr. Wilhelm at our Fairfax County podiatry office. Call us in Centreville, Virginia, at (703) 996-3000 or contact us online.

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