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Wearing the Right Shoe Size

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Wearing the Right Shoe Size: Gotham Footcare: Podiatrists

If The Shoe Fits: The Importance of Wearing The Right Size 

Stars and royalty are wearing heels one size too big. Meghan Markle does it to avoid bunions and blisters. Her heels always have a little wiggle room. It sounds like a good idea, doesn’t it? Well, let me tell you why it's not.

When you wear a shoe that fits your foot properly, not tight and not loose, it provides a good platform for your foot to support your body, given that it is a good shoe to begin with. As we all know, if you wear a shoe that is too tight it will hurt your feet and lead to foot ailments, such as blisters, bunions and calluses. But wearing a shoe that is too big will cause us to walk in an unnatural and dysfunctional way. This can lead to serious foot problems.

When buying new shoes, one should buy shoes that fit comfortably. Also, do not assume that a size in one brand equates to the same size in another. When you buy new shoes measure your foot's length and width with a Brannock Device. A Brannock Device is the standard foot measuring tool used by footwear designers and manufacturers. Use these measurements to find a proper fitting shoe and always try on and walk around wearing the shoe.

The only time that you could wear a shoe in a bigger size is when purchasing a sneaker but you should only go up about half a size. The reason for this is that our feet tend to swell because fluid accumulates due to gravity with prolonged standing and weight baring activities. Buying a sneaker that is slightly larger than your foot allows for better circulation which minimizes swelling. If one foot is slightly larger than the other go for the bigger size and always consider the kind of socks you plan to wear with your shoes. Your feet will thank you at the end of the day when they are comfortable, supported, and unrestricted.

Still think Meghan Markle might be onto something? Buying a heel that is larger may feel more comfortable and aggravate a bunion slightly less as it gives the great toe a little more wiggle room, but it won’t prevent the formation of bunions any less than a smaller sized heel as they will still alter your gait and the natural biomechanics of the foot.  Heels are designed for fashion; they are not made for comfort. Heels alter the ability of the foot to absorb shock evenly across the foot and to hold up our body weight. A larger sized heel will still force the distribution of weight onto the ball of your foot and compact your toes into a small space which will still lead to the progression of bunions, especially when you are predisposed to having them. In fact, a heel that is too big may equally pose the same amount of problems as a heel that is too small.  Heels that are too big can also cause friction that can result in painful blisters, callouses and corns, especially on the back of the heel as the foot slides back and forth with every step. The constant rubbing of the back of the shoe against the heel can be painful and annoying and provoke blisters. The blisters may also become infected and lead to even greater complications.

When you wear heels that are too big it will alter the way you walk. They will cause your heel to repeatedly slip out of the shoe with every step. To stop this from happening you contract your toes with every step to hold the shoe onto your foot. The repetitive contracture of the toes is counterproductive and actually further contributes to the formation of bunions and hammertoes. Shoes should support your feet. It shouldn’t be the other way around. Your feet shouldn’t have to support your shoes. Wearing shoes that don’t feel right can lead to other painful medical conditions, such as arch pain, neuromas, and Achilles tendonitis. The way you walk in shoes that don’t fit properly will not only affect your feet, but will also affect other parts of your body, like your knees, back, and neck.

So Meghan may have found the right guy but she definitely hasn’t chosen the right shoe. If you're looking for a shoe idol maybe you should look at Cinderella instead because her shoe fits. And as the saying goes, if the shoe fits, wear it!

 

About Dr. Miguel Cunha - Dr. Miguel Cunha, founder of Gotham Footcare and a leading podiatrist in Manhattan, is a highly trained and skilled foot and ankle surgeon with experience treating a wide array of foot and ankle conditions from minor problems to complex reconstructive foot and ankle surgery. Dr. Cunha takes pride in having a genuine interest in each and every one of his patients while providing them the utmost compassion and exceptional care. 

At Gotham Footcare in NYC, we strive at recognizing your individual needs and desired outcomes while formulating an effective and personalized treatment plan with the highest quality care available.

What sets Gotham Footcare apart from other podiatry offices is our dedication to providing you with the education you need to make well-informed decisions regarding your care. Regardless of what your foot and ankle trouble may be, at Gotham Footcare our team will work tirelessly to help you feel better. At Gotham Footcare, we help you put your best foot forward.