Susannah Davda is a highly experienced footwear professional and advocates for comfortable, beautiful shoes. She is the founder and director of The Shoe Consultant Ltd. In this guest blog, she gives us 5 good reasons why it is crucial to find shoes that are the correct width for your feet. There are many reasons for wearing well-fitting footwear, and here are just five fantastic motives to know your foot width, and dress it accordingly.
Annoying health problems
Shoes that are too narrow can result in corns (often on the outer side of your little toes) and can trigger or aggravate bunions. Corns can usually be removed but will recur if you continue to wear ill-fitting footwear. The tendency for bunions is hereditary, so have a look at your mum/aunt/sister's feet, and select your shoes accordingly. If bunions become too severe, they may need to be operated upon. You'd be wise to avoid squeezing your bunion-prone feet into restrictive footwear.
A pain in the foot
Poorly fitting footwear can cause you pain, or at least make you uncomfortable. There are many studies that show a correlation between pain and a bad mood. Well-fitting shoes can help you to feel happier and more confident. They also let you walk with a bold stride, which gives a strong impression to other people. You should avoid at all costs that situation where you have to remove your painful footwear and walk barefoot. I have heard very unpleasant stories about the kind of infections you can get when you tread on something sharp. Don't ruin your day for the sake of some fancy ill-fitting shoes.
Shoes that are too narrow can result in some ugly-looking effects. If the footwear is closed in but the upper material is quite thin, you may well be able to see an outline of your toes bulging at the sides. If this bulge is quite extreme and overhangs the edge of the sole, then it can affect the longevity of the shoes. This is because the upper touches the ground, and isn't protected by the sole. This effect becomes much worse when you're wearing open sandals, as this can mean your feet overhang the sole and actually touch the ground. You might as well be going barefoot! Bulging can also occur on pumps or court shoes, on the top or sides where the shoe ends and your foot begins. You can also get red marks on your feet around these areas from pinching or rubbing.
Don't think that buying the widest fit possible will automatically create a comfortable environment for your feet. If your footwear is too wide, your feet will move around a lot. This friction can result in uncomfortable corns on the balls of your feet. If your slip-on shoes or sandals are too wide, this can mean that your toes have to grip to keep the footwear on. Give your poor toes a rest by wrapping them in something perfectly-fitting.
Made for you
Your feet are wonderful bespoke creations, designed to support your unique body. Having wider feet can actually be an advantage, as the support they give can help to prevent back problems. If you have wider feet, then it's wise to let them do their job, rather than putting them in shoes which have a corset-like effect, and which don't let them spread. Too narrow shoes create a smaller surface for your entire body weight to balance on.
Get your feet measured for length and width, to ensure you're wearing the correct size of footwear. More brands than ever are stocking wider-fitting styles, so comfortably covering your feet has never been easier. Be kind to your feet, and don't forget to visit your chiropodist regularly. They'll be able to provide advice and treatments tailored to you. Chiropody isn't just for older people. It can benefit anyone who has even the slightest foot niggle.