Women’s Shoes affect Foot Health

Women and shoes enjoy a close relationship but a study shows that women choosing ill-fitting shoes risk healthy feet.

37% of British women have bought ill-fitting shoes

With sales being more common, resisting a bargain  is always a difficult one when it comes to fashionable shoes for women. Going for the look and style in despite of what it will do to our feet, is the typical approach to buying shoes for most of us!

This has resulted in a study by the The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists (SCP), the leading professional body for registered chiropodists and podiatrists in the UK, stating that 37% of British women have bought ill-fitting shoes in summer sales and 80% women have suffered from foot problems.

The study has found that women often are ignoring the result of buying wrong fitting shoes for the sake of fashion. Many are left with a variety of foot problems due to this passion. The 80% of women who suffer from foot problems due to bad shoes is made up of 39% with cracked heels, 19% having in-growing toenails, 15% having bunions and 24% resulting corns on their feet.

Lorraine Jones, a podiatrist from the SCP said:

“Many of us find it hard to resist a bargain and the latest fashion must-have, but it’s important to remember that by buying ill-fitting shoes, you’re not only going to end up in discomfort, but you are also putting your health at risk.”

Women's ShoesShe added, “What is particularly worrying is that this is just the number of people who are aware that they are buying ill-fitting shoes; many people are wearing the wrong sized shoes on a daily basis without even realising it. Most people in the UK suffer from a foot problem at some point in their lives, and while many are fairly minor, some can be extremely painful and disabling.”

Women are not the only bargain seekers because men too have been squeezing their feet into shoes that do not exactly fit them. About 17% of men a reported to have bought shoes that are of the wrong size for their feet.  Interestingly, the study has found that 40% of  them with foot problems have never opted for medical help or advice.

The top five foot ailments in the UK are:

  1. 27% – Cracked heels
  2. 26% – Veruccas
  3. 26% – Fungal infections
  4. 19% – In-growing toenails
  5. 16% – Corns

High heels are are regarded as the height of women’s fashion in shoes. But also they are one style of shoe that causes a lot of discomfort, pain and agony to women.

A  study carried out by COMPEED amongst more than 1000 women across the UK, revealed:

  • 48% of British women state they feel more confident when wearing high heels at work.
  • 24% feel more assertive and acknowledged by others.
  • 63% confessed wearing heels made them feel more sexy and glamorous on a date or a night out.

HeelsLeading to the point that power dressing is still widespread today with over half of British women under 45 drawing confidence from the extra height afforded by their stilettos. Despite the agonies caused by heels, over 78% of British women admit to wearing them, indicating that they are not willing to trade style for comfort.

It is also common for children to have shoes bought for them that are not the right size. This can be due to economic, lack of time or knowledge and fashion reasons. Resulting in long term deformity and injury associated with ill fitting shoes.

Here are some basic tips to buying suitable shoes:

  • Always know the correct size of your feet. If in doubt, have both feet measured for length and width.
  • The toe area of the shoe should be deep enough to allow the toes to move freely and not be squashed from the top or sides.
  • The shoes should fit exactly around the heel without being tight or loose.
  • The inner border of the shoe at the heel and arch area should be firm and support the foot.
  • Trainers are foot friendly as long as feet are measured, however, many trainers are designed for particular sports and may not be suitable for everyday wear.

So, buying the right shoes is something that all of us should do to ensure we have better foot health. But how many women especially will think of this when they see the ‘must have’ pair of shoes in the window?

Have you ever bought bad fitting shoes?

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Nazhat is an ambitious 'Desi' woman with interests in news and lifestyle. As a writer with a determined journalistic flair, she firmly believes in the motto "an investment in knowledge pays the best interest," by Benjamin Franklin.

All figures are provided by reports provided by the The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists.