Know Your Shoe: Prominent Orthopaedic Problems That are Triggered Due to Wrong Footwear Among Women

Shoes were first invented in the early 7000 or 8000 BC to protect human feet from extreme temperatures, cuts and injuries. But over time, the shoes became more than just a basic necessity. High heels were first invented in Persia in the 10th century and were worn by men to help with horseback riding. Gradually European women adopted it as a symbol of their status and aesthetic taste.Also read – Diet Tips: 5 Reasons Why Skip Meals Is Extremely Dangerous – Never Do It!

Nowadays, shoes have become a part of our fashion statement and a wide range of shoes is available for every different occasion. Most of us have a laid back attitude when it comes to painting a picture about ourselves. In addition, with the option of online shopping, we often buy without having to try on shoes. It is not uncommon for women to complain of pain, blisters, swelling and bruising in their favorite heels. Also read – Say no to constipation with 5 essential foods in your diet

A study of more than 1,600 participants found that about 63-72 percent wore the wrong footwear, which was associated with leg pain and foot deformities. Another study suggests that 9 out of 10 women wear shoes that are too small to cause calluses, blisters, vests, corns, etc. Also read – Studies show that eating vegetables does not protect you from cardiovascular diseases

Wrong shoes for feet and their complications

Some of the worst shoes for the feet include high heels, stilettos, ballet flats, flip-flops and modest shoes without proper heel support, high platform shoes, shoes with pointy toes and small sized shoes. “Wearing heels and stilettos over 2 inches increases the risk of sprains and hair fractures in the ankle. Hemorrhoids (abnormal curvature in the middle toe joint) are caused by high heel shoes pushing body weight towards the toes. Shoes with pointed tips increase the risk of a toe characterized by painful lumps in the base of the big toe that bend it unnaturally. Wearing very flat shoes without proper sole can cause severe pain in the soles of the feet and heels. Wearing improper shoes or the wrong size of shoes can also cause nerve damage to the feet, toe nails can lead to pain and infection, increased risk of falling, reduced mobility and ultimately reduced quality of life. Wearing the wrong pair can increase pain in the hips, knees, ankles or feet.

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Choosing the right pair for your feet

The right pair of shoes should provide proper cushioning, support your feet when rotating, fit well, but not too tight and should feel comfortable from the first wear.

Here are some helpful tips before buying shoes:

  • Always measure your foot size by a showroom person before trying on a pair
  • If you can’t do without heels, try wearing heels that are less than 2 inches high
  • Always consider the width as well as the length of the shoe. Make sure you can wiggle all your toes while trying to pair to give enough space for your toenails.
  • Move around after wearing them to see if they are comfortable
  • Size varies from brand to brand. It is always a good idea to visit the store before buying a new pair instead of shopping online. The staff at the store can advise you on the type of shoe depending on your need and foot size for proper fit and comfort.
  • Feel the inside of the shoes and boots for comfort and proper grip
  • Consult a doctor to find the right footwear for you in case of pain in hips, knees, ankles or feet or diabetes
  • People with flat feet need special shoes that prevent them from overheating

(Inputs from Dr. Syed Imran, Consultant Orthopedics and Joint Replacement Surgeon, Manipal Hospital Millers Road, Bengaluru)


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