Too tight shoes can cause major health problems

Published: Feb. 8, 2013 at 2:35 PM CST|Updated: Sep. 26, 2016 at 5:50 PM CDT
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Too tight shoes are often the cause of a trip to the podiatrist.
Too tight shoes are often the cause of a trip to the podiatrist.

Too tight shoes are often the cause of a trip to the podiatrist.  Dr. Joseph Dupper said he sees the consequences all the time.

"Obviously, you're going to run into issues with pain. One of the things we see in people with tight shoes are ingrown toenails from the nails getting squeezed by the shoe," he said.

Dupper said other problems include bunions, hammer toes, crossed toes, and corns.  All are problems that could lead to foot surgery.

Diabetes, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, or other conditions will put you at greater risk of foot problems.

"I've had diabetic patients who come in without taking adequate care of an ingrown toenail and end up losing their toe or half their foot," said Dupper.

Many problems can be prevented by picking the right shoe.  For women, that means wearing a lower heel and toes that are not pointed.

Look for shoes that are solidly constructed, conform to your feet, and have cushioned soles that absorb the shock of hard surfaces. Seek a good, knowledgeable sales person and have your feet re-measured; they do change over time.

"Women tend to push the envelope as far as shoes are concerned. That's always an issue," added Dupper. He said sensible is the key.

Some women trade fashion for health when shoes are pointed at the toe.

"Wearing high heels for an extended period, and I mean years, can lead to a shortening of your Achilles tendon, which can lead to tendonitis. You're putting all your weight at the front of your foot," he said.

The fat pads underneath their metatarsal heads at the ball of their foot have just been worn away because of the pressure.

Men and women who have a thinning fat pad can use the gel inserts to their advantage.

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