If your shoes are too tight, you may be at risk for developing a number of different foot conditions. The longer your feet stay in these ill-fitting shoes, the worse the problem can get, and that can make it harder for you to find effective treatment. With that in mind, we wanted to use today’s blog to spotlight four foot conditions that can develop if your shoes are too tight so that you can avoid these potentially painful foot issues.
Foot Conditions Caused By Tight Shoes
Tight shoes can put a lot of additional stress on different joints and soft tissues in our feet. This prolonged stress can eventually cause problems for these areas and your entire foot complex. Here’s a closer look at four foot problems that we commonly see that are oftentimes caused or worsened by tight shoes.
- Bunions – Bunions are one of the most common conditions that Dr. McDonald and his team see on a regular basis. A person can be genetically predispositioned to bunions development due to their foot shape and how stress is dispersed on their feet, but the most modifiable risk factor for bunion onset is shoe choice. Shoes that are overly tight will put pressure on your toe box and your big toe joint. Over time, this stress shifts the joint out of its natural position, leading to the formation of a small bunion. Left uncorrected, the joint will continue to shift out of its normal position, which oftentimes leads to worsening symptoms and significant pain. Don’t let a bunion continue to progress because you regularly put your feet in tight or ill-fitting shoes!
- Hammer Toes – If your shoes are too small, your toes tend to get the worst of it. They will oftentimes be pushed back towards your foot, which causes them to bend upwards. Forced to hold this position for an extended period, and the ligaments that help your toes lay flat can become damaged or stiff. This can lead to a perpetually bent toe known as a hammer toe. They aren’t always painful, but they can make wearing shoes uncomfortable and they can certainly become symptomatic, so make sure that your shoes aren’t too small for your feet.
- Ingrown Toenail – Tight shoes can also impact your nail bed, pushing your toenail into the fleshy skin that surrounds it. Ingrown toenails are oftentimes red, swollen and painful, so it’s not going to be comfortable to walk around when dealing with the condition. Tight shoes or footwear with narrow toe boxes can put abnormal pressure on your big toe and the nail bed, which effectively acts as a mild trauma on the area. This strain can cause the nail bed to grow out of its normal alignment and lead to ingrown toenail formation.
- Corns And Calluses – While not as serious as the above conditions, tight shoes can also lead to the formation of corns or calluses on your feet. These are skin irritations that can develop when consistent or abnormal pressure is applied to a specific area of the feet or toes for an extended period. If your shoes are too tight in a particular spot, it can rub or irritate the skin and can cause an uncomfortable callus or corn to develop. If these skin irritations break open, you may be at an increased risk for infection.
Make sure that you swap out old shoes before they become too tight, and know that not all shoe brands fit the same. A size 7 in one brand may be tighter than a size 7 in another brand, so have your shoes professionally fitted or return online purchases that aren’t a great fit for your feet. And if you need help treating any of the above conditions, reach out to Dr. McDonald and his team today at (860) 244-8889.