Shoes were invented as early as 7000 or 8000 BC to protect human feet from extreme temperatures, cuts and injuries. But over time, shoes have become more than a basic necessity. High heels were first invented in the 10th century in Persia and worn by men to facilitate horse riding. Gradually, European women adopted it as a symbol of their status and aesthetic taste.Read also – Dietary advice: 5 reasons why it is very dangerous to skip meals – Never do it!
Nowadays shoes have become an integral part of our fashion statement and there is a wide range of shoes available for every occasion. Many of us are so obsessed with getting the perfect shoes that we put comfort at the back. In addition, with the possibility of buying online, we often end up buying shoes without trying them on. It is not uncommon to find women complaining of pain, blisters, swelling and bruising in their favorite heels. Read also – Say no to constipation with 5 essential foods in your diet
A study of over 1,600 participants showed that around 63-72% of people wear the wrong shoes, which is associated with foot pain and disorders. Another study suggests that 9 out of 10 women wear shoes that are too small leading to calluses, blisters, bunions, corns, etc. Read also – A study reveals that eating vegetables does not protect you from cardiovascular disease
Bad shoes for the feet and their complications
Some of the worst shoes for the feet include high heels, stilettos, ballet flats, flip flops and flimsy shoes without proper heel support, high platform shoes, pointy toe shoes and shoe sizes. “Wearing heels higher than 2 inches and stilettos increases the risk of ankle sprains and hairline fractures. High-heeled shoes push the weight of the body towards the toes, causing hammertoe (abnormal bends in the toe joints. Pointed-toe shoes increase the risk of a bunion characterized by a painful lump at the base of the big toe causing the big toe to bend abnormally. Wearing very flat shoes without a proper sole can cause severe pain in the bottom of the foot and heels Wearing ill-fitting or incorrectly sized shoes can also cause nerve damage in the feet, ingrown toenails leading to pain and infection, increased risk of falls, reduced mobility and ultimately a reduced quality of life.Wearing the wrong pair can make hip, knee, ankle or foot pain worse.
Choosing the right pair for your feet
The right pair of shoes should provide adequate cushioning, support your feet as you move, fit snugly but not too tightly, and be comfortable out of the box.
Here are some helpful tips before you go shoe shopping:
- Always have your shoe size measured by the person in the showroom before trying on a pair
- If you can’t do without heels, try opting for heels under 2 inches in height.
- Always consider the width of the shoes as well as the length. Make sure you can wiggle all of your toes when trying to pair to allow enough room for your nails.
- Move around after wearing them to see if they are comfortable
- Sizes differ from brand to brand. It is always good to visit a store before buying a new pair instead of shopping online. The store staff can advise you on the type of shoes based on your needs and the size of your feet for proper fit and comfort.
- Feel the inside of shoes and soles for comfort and proper grip
- If you have hip, knee, ankle or foot pain or diabetes, see a doctor to figure out the right shoes for yourself
- People with flat feet need special shoes that prevent overpronation
(Contributions by Dr Syed Imran, Orthopedic Consultant and Joint Replacement Surgeon, Manipal Hospital Millers Road, Bangalore)