The truth about your feet as an adult.
You probably remember going to buy shoes as a child. Your parents took you down to Stride Rite or Craft Shoes and had you “fit” into a pair of shoes for the upcoming school year. The kind man would use the metal device to measure your feet and carefully find you a pair of shoes that would “last you” until you grew out of them. Chances are, they were practical and basic with laces to accommodate growth throughout the year.
Now, you’re an adult; you may be thinking that your feet have stopped growing. You don’t need to replace your shoes every year or have someone “fit” you. You know your size. Right? …Wrong. The truth about our feet is that they continually change as time goes on. They grow, flatten, take new shapes, and need annual fitting, just as regular as your medical check-ups.
If you don’t think the size of your shoes relative to your feet is important, wear a pair of shoes that’s a half size too small for a couple of hours. It’s not fun. You’d quickly find that your toes are squished, arch isn’t lining up, blisters are forming, and more unpleasant things are happening, all because of improperly sized footwear.
Aside from discomfort, wearing shoes that are the wrong size defeats the purpose of shoes altogether! A shoe is built to support your body in its natural stance, following the curves in your foot and supporting you from head to toe. If your feet are not laying naturally in a shoe, they can't possibly be supporting your body properly. The way your foot uniquely sits in a shoe will change as time goes on because of the natural evolution of our bodies, movement of our bones, changes in weight, and many other factors. In fact, if you’ve been wearing shoes that are too big or too small for long enough, that can have a significant impact on your foot health and size going forward.
Common side effects of wearing the wrong shoe size:
#1: Foot pain
#3: Joint pain
#4: Painful foot conditions (i.e.: bunions and hammer toes)
As shoe sellers, we saw a major decline in our customers’ foot health and a major increase in the spreading and width of their feet after the popularity of Crocs. Men and women alike clung to their Crocs because they “felt like slippers” or “were so easy to throw on and off.” We’ve heard it all, really. But as we observed our customers and probed them about their shoe habits, we found that customers who relied on Crocs as a go-to shoe were experiencing more spreading and an increase in width size. Their feet felt fine in Crocs, but awful in their other shoes. To be honest, we even sold Crocs until we saw the negative impact they were having on our customers' feet. We, too, fell blind to the easy comfort at first.
Any reputable source who knows a thing or two about feet will be able to evaluate your feet based on three measurements taken – toe length, arch length, and width – and recommend size and styles that will work best for you. As we saw with the Crocs generation, shoes that are too large are just as – if not more – dangerous than shoes that are too small, because they lack lateral support (side to side) and allow your feet to slide around with no real boundaries.
If you take anything out of our PSA, let it be this:
#1: No matter how normal you are, your feet change and need to be fit by a professional.
#2: Every brand cuts their shoes differently. Size is just a number that will change from style to style, so it’s most important that you try shoes on prior to purchasing them AND don't be attached to a size or number.
#3: Don’t compromise fit and comfort for style. Wearing shoes that aren’t your size is detrimental to your feet and body. When your shoes fit better, your face will reflect that comfort and your body will thank you.