Stylish and Stressful: How Women’s Shoes Affect Toes
Women’s shoes come in an incredibly diverse set of styles, from plain and practical to fancy and fashionable. Depending on your needs, you can find a wide variety of boots, heels, flats, sandals, and more. Unfortunately, what’s fashionable in women’s shoes—sky high heels, pointed toe boxes, narrow fronts, etc.—is terrible for your toes and your feet in general.
High heels may look great, but they shift your body weight forward, so your body weight isn’t evenly distributed through your whole foot. This put excessive pressure on the ball of your foot and can potentially squish your toes against the front of your shoes.
Shoe styles with narrow or pointed toe boxes, whether they are high heels or not, also pinch and squish the toes. A narrow shoe squeezes the entire foot, putting pressure and friction on bony areas. Pointed toe boxes squish toes together to fit the shape of the shoe. This forces your digits out of their natural alignment and doesn’t allow them to move freely.
So why is all this bad for your toes and your feet in general? The stress on your forefoot from your footwear could potentially contribute to some difficult foot conditions. All the pressure from high heels can lead to metatarsalgia, or issues like Morton’s neuroma. It also increases your risk for bunions. Narrow or pointed toe boxes trap the digits in a tight space, which could make ingrown toenails, blisters, corns, calluses, and fungal infections more likely. Even hammertoes and other toe deformities are more likely when your digits are cramped.
As fashionable as they may be, some popular women’s shoes just aren’t worth the hassle and pain they put your feet through. Instead, it’s better to stick to shoes that have wide toe boxes that match your foot shape, so they don’t squeeze your digits. Skipping high heels—or at least choosing ones that are two inches or less in height and wearing them sparingly—will also help to protect your feet.
If your shoes are taking a toll on your toes, don’t just accept that. Let our team at Far West Podiatric Medical Group help you find better footwear and take care of any pain you may have. Contact our offices in Hawthorne, CA, if you’re in town or from the El Segundo, Redondo Beach, or Lawndale areas for foot help today. Just call (310) 675-0900 or use our request forms.