We all have some idea of how important shoes are. But as any expert will tell you, any old shoe won’t do. Finding the right shoe for your foot can keep you comfortable and prevent several foot health-related problems, ranging from minor irritations to serious problems.
In other words, finding the right shoe may be even more important than you think. Here are a few common shoe problems, along with tips on finding a pair that works for your specific needs.
Podiatry Problems from Bad Shoes
There are a number of serious foot conditions that can result from wearing the wrong shoes. And these poor shoe choices are so common, that an American study found 90 percent of female participants wore shoes that were too small for their feet, and roughly 80 percent of the population suffer some sort of foot health issue.
Of course, wearing the wrong type of shoe isn’t the cause of all foot issues, but it does play a role in several podiatry problems people encounter. People who wear shoes that are too small for their feet can develop athlete’s foot, for instance. Meanwhile, shoes that are too narrow in the front can cause the wearer to develop painful bunions—a problem that can cause a need for surgery.
The age of your shoes can also cause serious issues. Old or inappropriate footwear is linked to plantar fasciitis, especially in athletes like runners and other people who spend a lot of time on their feet: retail workers and medical professionals, for instance.
Picking the Right Shoe
Obviously, the risk of these problems (Along with all the other issues the wrong shoe can cause!) make finding the right shoe very important. And though it’s ostensibly written for runners, one Runner’s World piece has great advice for anyone concerned about foot health to follow: By dumping a “thin layer of water into a shallow pan” and pressing your foot into it, the piece says, you can learn a lot about your foot, its arch and the type of shoe you need to support both.
However you decide to go about your shoe search, though, make sure you’re doing your due diligence. Foot health is an important topic for everyone to consider—and it’s easier to prevent many shoe-related problems than it is to deal with them after the fact!