Has it been years (or even decades) since you’ve stepped on one of those metal foot measuring devices at the shoe store? If so, we’ve got news for you—you’re most likely wearing the wrong size shoe. Although we’re all painfully well aware of how our bodies morph and change sizes throughout our life, for some reason we tend think our feet are the exclusion. Aside from constantly squeezing your feet into ill-fitting shoes, which can eventually alter them permanently, your feet may also undergo subtle changes due to injury, pregnancy, or even just with aging. But no matter how tiny these changes may seem, it only takes a couple millimeters of a difference to change your shoe size.
In a recent study of 2,000 people, by the British College of Podiatry, it was revealed that a third of men and more than a half of women have worn shoes that don’t fit properly. While this may not seem like a huge deal at the time, improperly fitting shoes can cause a number of negative effects on your feet including hammertoe deformities, bunions, and chronic foot pain.
The solution? Constant vigilance! Change your shopping habits and take time to confirm a new pair of shoes fits properly before buying them. Sizes vary widely between brands and sometimes even within the same brand, so never assume the “one size fits all” method will work. NEVER rely on shoes “being stretched out” when making your sizing decisions. If you’re shopping online, order multiple sizes at once to give yourself options when trying them on. In addition, it’s advised to try shoes on later in the day when your feet are generally at their biggest.
Most importantly, you should be sizing your feet yearly to account for any small changes. For the most precise measurement, visit your local podiatrist and get your feet professionally measured. They’ll make sure your foot length AND width is taken into account. For any questions or concerns about how your shoes may be negatively affecting your feet, be sure to schedule an appointment at the Advanced Foot and Ankle Care Center nearest you!