Fashion has changed. Trends come and go. And yet there’s one bigger problem that nearly every last one of us still struggle with when it comes to footwear: wearing uncomfortable shoes.
Let me be upfront about something:
I’ve worn shoes that are too tight. I’ve walked in sneakers that are too big. And I’ve had my fair share of both sides.
I’m not saying you’ll break your ankles. I’m not even saying you’ll struggle to walk. And while wearing shoes that don’t feel comfortable doesn’t have life threatening impact, it does have short and long-term effects.
In other words, ill-fitting shoes can cause more harm than good.
In this guide, I’ll tell you the dangers of putting on shitty shoes and help you know how painful and discomforting an unworthy pair can be.
Let’s get started.
The Effects of Wearing Uncomfortable Shoes
Before we look at why you shouldn’t wear shoes that don’t fit properly, it’s important that we ask ourselves two key questions:
- How supportive should shoes be?
- Does the size of a shoe even mean anything?
By answering these questions, you’ll be able to get a clear picture of why going for the most comfortable shoes is important in the first place.
Must You Wear Supportive Shoes?
To understand why supportive shoes matters, it’s important to look at how far the ground we walk on has evolved.
Back in the day, much of the ground was dirt and sand. These didn’t hurt our feet but formed to their shape instead, making it possible for us to walk naturally while enhancing our gait in the process.
The ground was forgiving. Getting by was easy. And we could go shoeless just fine for as long as we wanted.
But time has changed.
Nowadays we have some of the most unforgiving surfaces on the planet, from hardwood floors and tiles to marbles and concrete. And you can’t walk without shoes on them, not to mention in footwear without good arch support.
With grounds growing rough by the day, filled with all kinds of unfriendly elements, walking around in the wrong pair of shoes is a big mistake.
To get through any kind of roadway, your shoes must fit right, feature a durable sole unit, be comfortable, and provide excellent arch support.
Does the Size of Your Shoes Mean Anything?
Yes, the size of your shoes matters – a lot. And I can’t stress enough that you need to make sure your shoes should fit well from the very beginning.
You shouldn’t wear tight shoes because they’re uncomfortable, and you shouldn’t put on loose ones because they make walking difficult.
But as convincing as that sound, no one really ever gets the size nailed down right all the time. In fact, it’s not surprising to find yourself putting on sneakers of inaccurate length and width.
Here’s the thing:
The size of your feet never remains the same for a lifetime. A time comes when your tendons relax and begin to spread out. And factors like pregnancies and bunions can increase the size of your feet.
Therefore, you should measure your feet’s size once a year and use the measurement to find yourself a new pair of shoes.
Why You Shouldn’t Wear Uncomfortable or Ill-Fitting Shoes
Foot pain and discomfort aren’t the only effect of wearing shoes that don’t feet well.
So for the rest of this guide, we’ll look at what happens if you wear tight or loose shoes, with the overall object being to help you understand why you shouldn’t buy crappy shoes.
What Happens if You Wear Tight Shoes?
There’s no better way to say this:
But if you’re fond of wearing tight shoes, you need to stop – right now.
1. Tight Shoes Can Alter Your Natural Stride
If one thing is for sure, it’s that overly big shoes can easily damage your natural stride when walking.
Think of it like this:
When you walk in loose footwear, your heels will slip out, making every step you take dysfunctional and unnatural.
Moreover, you’ll have to stress your toes to maintain a natural gait. And this can lead to feet problems like bunions and hammertoes.
2. You Can Develop Athlete’s Foot
Let’s get one thing straight:
Tight shoes force toes to clamp close to one another, creating a suitable environment for excessive sweat in the webbing of your toes and areas under the arch of your feet. This can trigger a fungal infection, which results in athlete’s foot.
Even worse is the outcome of athlete’s foot. It causes feet inflammation, severe itching, and intense flaking of the skin.
As ugly as this condition is, it’s not an eternal punishment for putting on shoes that you shouldn’t wear in the first place.
You can remedy the condition wearing comfortable athlete’s foot shoes. You can also use an antifungal cream to get a relief.
3. Tight, Shitty Shoes Can Cause Ingrown Toenails
Tight shoes can push the sides of your feet’s nail to puncture the surrounding skin. This result in ingrown toenails, which cause pain and discomfort that your feet can’t easily bear.
Moreover, your feet are likely to develop fungal toenails from the pressure exerted to your feet by the tight shoes. The fungal infection may even make your toenail brittle, discolored, and unpleasing.
4. You Can Develop Calluses
Tight shoes create pressure on your toes and the sides of your feet. If this friction remains consistent for an extended period, your skin will harden and eventually result in calluses.
Although calluses aren’t painful, they can be ugly. Somehow, calluses can make you feel embarrassed to walk in open shoes or sandals, because it’s a condition that makes your feet look rather despicable.
What Are the Effects of Wearing Big Shoes?
Big shoes are just as bad as tight shoes because they can cause your feet more harm than good.
Loose shoes can:
1. Lead to the Development of Corns
Described as dead, hard skin caused by long-term pressure on specific area of your feet, the growth of corns is by far the most disgusting consequence of putting on oversized shoes.
Put in another way:
Big shoes cause your feet to rub and slide against the surface. This exerts pressure on different parts of your feet and causes corns to develop.
Because they contain blood vessels, corns can be very painful for your feet to handle. And if they attach to the deeper soft tissues in your feet, they may become difficult to remove.
Given that it’s simply bad to wear loose shoes, we suggest returning shoes that don’t fit, or learning how to wear shoes that are too big if you must keep the pair with you.
2. You’re Likely to fall to the Ground
Your pair of shoes can’t provide ample support if they’re loose.
By wearing loose shoes, you create an opportunity for your feet to glide in them.
Therefore, your chances of falling are high, particularly when walking on stairs.
General Effects of Uncomfortably Shitty Shoes
Your shoes may not be too tight or too big. But they still may not be suitable for long-term use. In such a case, we still consider them ill fitting.
Here are some of the general effects of wearing such kind of footwear:
1. Bad Shoes Can Cause Joint Pain
While a sore joint is something we rarely talk about when referring to uncomfortable shoes, they do occur nonetheless.
Joint pain occurs when you wear shoes that don’t absorb much of the impact pressure from the ground.
For example, a pair that have thin sole unit isn’t good shoes for concrete. If you wear them, you will put more pressure on your joints and the sole of your feet more than you should.
And note this:
When your feet absorbs more pressure from every step than your shoes does, you’re more than likely to experience severe joint pain.
So make sure the outsoles of your pair of walking shoes are up to the standard. Also, makes sure the cushioning of the footwear is good enough to allow you to get by comfortably, especially if you have to be on your feet for an extended period.
2. Uncomfortable Footwear Can Cause Collapsed Feet
Ill-fitting shoes can tighten the back of your leg’s muscles and Achilles tendon. The tightness can strain the arch support ligament, your plantar fascia, and then tendon of the muscle.
In fact, the more you continue to wear shitty shoes, the more likely you’ll experience the strain. Over time, this leads to collapsed arches. To avoid your feet’s arch from falling, wear comfortable shoes that fit well straight out of the box.
However, if you have already developed collapsed arches from walking in ill-fitting shoes, consider getting yourself the right pair of walking shoes for flat feet to correct the problem.
3. Shitty Shoes Can Cause Back Pain
When you hear someone complaining of lower back pain, one of the main causes could probably be wearing shoes that simply don’t fit well.
In our guide on walking shoes for big guys, we stated that you shouldn’t buy big or very tight shoes but go for what fit instead.
And the reason?
Big shoes simply make it difficult for you to walk and tight ones can cause a lot of foot pain.
But do you also know that a pair of shoes that doesn’t fit well can cause back pain and posture problems?
Shoes that don’t feel comfortable can affect the structure of the spinal muscle and alter the alignment of your body and its posture. If you wear such footwear for a long time, your back will stiffen and your posture is more than likely going to change.
Frequently Asked Question
Should my heels be loose or tight?
Your heels shouldn’t be loose or tight. So you should shop for the right size if you want to walk comfortably.
If the pair that you already have is big, get a pair of big insoles to fix the problem.
Do small shoes stunt growth?
No, wearing small shoes will not stop your feet from growing.
However, tight footwear can cause any of the foot problems that we’ve already discussed in this article.
How tight should dress shoes be?
Your dress shoes shouldn’t be too tight. Instead, they should be comfortable.
You want to make sure your heels don’t move around.
Also, makes sure there are no pressure points in the shoes. The shoes should hug your feet, while ensuring there’s no room to move around too much.