Health / 06.05.2016

The crippling foot problem affecting over half of us

By Cheryl Freedman
If the shoe doesn't fit, don't wear it...

heels meta

Ever bought a pair of shoes you loved – even though you secretly knew they didn’t fit you properly? You’re not alone. In fact, a new survey shows a shocking nearly 60 per cent of women confess to having done the same, sacrificing comfort and health for looking good.

The Great British Shoe Survey, by wide shoe fashion brand Sargasso & Grey, also reveals a massive 80 per cent of us sometimes wear shoes that aren’t comfortable, due to them not fitting properly.

However, perhaps unsurprisingly, our addiction to fashionable footwear is crippling us. Thirty-eight per cent of women surveyed also believed they had damaged their feet by wearing ill-fitting shoes.

READ MORE: How to walk safely in flip-flops

So, with queen of fashion Victoria Beckham reputedly ditching her narrow stilettos for more forgiving flats, is it time for us to put our high heels away too for the sake of our foot health?

Here are 3 ways you can look after your feet better through the shoes you choose:

1 Switch your stilettos

Wearing the same high heels every single day? Stop! Podiatrist Lorraine Jones, of Chiswick Feet, advises alternating your footwear to avoid ruining your feet – wear comfy flats on your ‘off’ days to help minimise long-term damage.

2 Choose shoes with support and ‘toe wiggle’

One in five adults has flat feet. The answer is to wear shoes with orthotics: these can help improve alignment and reduce pressure on ligaments and muscles caused by flat feet. Also, generally, make sure your shoes have plenty of toe room, says Jones – a 1cm gap is ideal

3 Go wide

Over 50 per cent of women surveyed said they find it hard to source shoes in a wide enough fit. If your tootsies are on the broad side, don’t suffer in silence – look into shoes from a specialist like Sargasso & Grey, who make stylish heels in wider fits, with padded insoles. Too-tight shoes can cause problems such as ingrown toenails, and rubbing causes corns – four times more common in women than men. And corns are never a good look…

Are your feet looking a little worse for wear after wearing the wrong shoes? Don’t fear – read our SOS guide for beautiful feet in the latest June/July issue of healthy magazine, out now in Holland & Barrett

The crippling foot problem affecting over half of us
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The crippling foot problem affecting over half of us
Are your shoes destroying your feet? We take a look at wide feet - a problem experiencing by over half of women - and how to improve your foot health.
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