Elizabeth Holmes, The Wall Street Journal July 15, 2014
When was the last time you had your foot measured to check your shoe size?
If the answer is more than a year ago, there is a good chance your shoes are causing you some kind of pain, from pinched toes to unsightly calluses. Foot shape and size can change in small but meaningful ways throughout adulthood, yet time-starved shoppers increasingly order shoes online and forgo proper sizing by a trained salesperson.
No matter how big or small your feet, your shoes could be hurting them—or even causing permanent harm. In a U.K study, involving 2,000 adults, more than a third of men and nearly half of women admitted buying shoes that didn’t fit properly. Shoes with a narrow “toe box,” the industry term for the front part of the shoe, can push the big toe in and create or accelerate a bunion, says Steven L. Haddad, an IBJI-Glenview orthopedic surgeon and president of the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society. It can also constrict the toes, resulting in what are known as “hammertoe deformities.”
“It’s like when your mom said, ‘Don’t make that face, it will stay that way,’ ” he says. “It does actually stay that way when you put so much pressure on the toe over a long period of time.”