Foot Problems: Could You Be Wearing the Wrong Shoes?
The average person walks more than 115,000 miles in a lifetime. Every walking step you take exerts pressure up to three times your body weight on your feet. Running exerts up to ten times your body weight. We cram our feet into tight-fitting, stiff shoes; subject them to the unnatural angles of high heels; pound them on pavement and asphalt; smother them in airless socks and shoes; or simply stand on them for hours on end. It's no wonder that the skin, 26 bones, and intricate webbing of muscles and ligaments in each of our feet sometimes can't stand up to the pressure.
Many common foot ailments are related to choice of shoes, especially in women. Of the 356 women involved in a survey by the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Association (AOFAS), 80% had some kind of foot pain. That's no surprise when you consider that 88% of them were wearing shoes that were smaller than their feet! Footwear that is too tight, too loose, excessively airtight, or shaped in unnatural ways can cause or aggravate problems. Here are just some of the problems poor footwear can cause.
Nearly half of all women have first-hand experience with the dull throb of aching feet. Although an increase in standing or walking may be the cause, the culprit is often ill-fitting shoes. Because the fat padding on the bottom of the feet thins out over time, older women may find that this problem increases with age.
Last reviewedMay 2012by Brian Randall, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.