What can you do to make your uncomfortable shoes comfortable......
In order to make those uncomfortable shoes more comfortable, you have to become your own shoe doctor! Shoes are designed to be hot and sexy; they are not always made to be comfortable. So the question is... is it a shoe problem or a foot problem that makes shoes uncomfortable?
The answer is both!
The reasons why the foot can be the problem are because it may be too wide for a normal last shoe because of lumps and bumps that can develop on sides and top of the foot. They are bone deformities called bunions, hammer toes and bone spurs. The ones associated with the great toe are known as a bunion (Hallux Abducto Valgus) foot deformity, the fifth toe deformity is called a tailor's bunion and on the top of the toes, hammertoes can develop. Bone spurs can form on the top of the foot. These boney problems can cause skin irritations, superficial skin ulcers, corn formations and calluses on the ball of foot. Ouch!
The foot can also be too narrow and create problems when wearing shoes. Women who have a narrow heel have a terrible time finding shoes that fit properly. When you walk the foot will slip or slide in the shoe and blisters can develop on the back of the heel or on the tops of the toes. A bone spur can form on the back of the heel because of this and this is called a "pump bump". This occurs because of friction or repetitive rubbing of the foot against the lining of the shoe either in the heel counter or toe box.
Women's feet can also change during pregnancy because of the hormone called relaxin which is released in your body during pregnancy. Relaxin targets weight baring ligaments in the pelvis during child birth. It also affects the ligaments in the arch of the foot which can cause them to stretch and the foot may get longer and wider. Therefore, over the course of a pregnancy feet can change a shoe size becoming larger. Unfortunately once they change size, it's permanent and does not return back to the original shoe size. Shoe companies must love this naturally occurring phenomenon.
Could it be the shoes?
Yes, shoe designs can be a factor; some of the hottest shoes on the market are not always the most comfortable shoes to wear. Ladies, you know the ones! There are certain parts of every shoe that can commonly cause problems. The toe box may be too shallow or narrow causing skin irritations or a prominent seam may be present in the lining of the toe box and rubs the sides or top of the toes. Shoe designs can also be hazardous to your foot's well being. If the slope of the shoe is too acute it could place pressure on the ball of the foot or it could affect the arch resulting in muscle spasms and cramping.
Become your own shoe doctor:
To become your own shoe doctor, you do not have to go to podiatry school! All you need to do is follow these recommendations and you "will walk happily ever after". When purchasing a new pair of shoes check to see if there is enough wiggle room in the front of the shoe (toe box) so your toes are not cramped or feeling unnecessary pressure. If you see redness on the top or sides of your toes after trying on a new pair of shoes, that is an indication that they are to tight and could lead to developing corns, blisters and subsequent pain when wearing them for long periods of time. If you only plan to wear them into restaurant and kick them off once you get there, you are probably safe. Always make sure that you have at least a thumbs width between your longest toe and the end of the shoe.
Shoes that are slightly too big because your foot is narrow can cause the heel to pop out of the back, foot slippage or arch cramping when walking. Placing over counter arch products in your shoe such as Instant Arches ® can prevent the foot from slipping forward, pain in the ball of the foot and the arch from cramping. Another tip is to place an extra insole in the shoe which would fill in the extra space. Look for shoes that have soft fabrics so it can accommodate the annoying lumps and bumps often found on your feet. Shoe repair shops can also be helpful because they have the ability to stretch shoes and soften the leather if they are to narrow or increase the room in the toe box creating more wiggle room.
Doctoring your feet:
There many types of gel pads or toe caps that you can find over the counter to place around your toes to prevent corn and blister formation on the sides and tops of your toes. Moleskin, Band-Aids and metatarsal arch pads are also helpful to prevent skin irritations and reduce callus formation.
Massaging your feet with moisturizing cream will soften and hydrate rough, dry and fissured skin as well as relaxing the foot after a long day. This should be done before you fall asleep so it will have the opportunity to get absorbed. Look for moisturizing creams infused with ingredients such as Urea, Aloe, Vitamin E, Chamomile and Pure Essential Oils.
Going on the web is another source to find ways to make your shoes more comfortable, web sites such as ShoesTV specialize in helpful information about shoes.
Regardless of how uncomfortable your shoes were or how uncomfortable your feet were in shoes, with these tips, "you can now walk happily ever after!"