8 diseases you could get by wearing the wrong kind of shoes

Love wearing trendy shoes? Here's how they might be harming you more than you thought.

Good looking shoes not only raise a person s self esteem but also define each wearer. Stilettos, high heels, peep toes, narrow and tight fitting shoes are every woman s must haves! Men also have a wide range of shoe styles with the front of shoes getting narrower as trends change. But, these highly popular shoes have a very grim downside giving the wearer a wide range of foot problems. Running and walking in these shoes puts an extra pressure on our feet, providing very little to no air contact and also tend to disfigure your feet, adding to your foot-woes. Here are a few common problems caused due to wearing the wrong kind of footwear.

Athlete s foot

Contrary to the name, athlete s foot does not only affect athletes. It is a common and contagious fungal infection of the skin that causes scaling, flaking, and itching of the affected areas. The areas usually affected are regions between toes. Sweaty socks and tight fitting shoes are one of reasons causing this infection.

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They appear as lumps on the side of your feet or at the base of the big toe. When you wear shoes with narrow fronts, the bone at the base of the toe is pushed outwards resulting in a bunion. The big toe in this condition, is slanted and pressed against other toes, rather than pointing straight.


On continuous friction, the skin starts building hard layers of skin cells to protect the skin of the foot. The skin cells form round, kernel-like bumps, called corns. These skin cells appear yellow and flat. Corns can be easily managed by these 5 home remedies.

Diabetic foot

People with diabetes often suffer from nerve damage in the foot. Due to this, they often don't have sensation in these regions and don't tend to realise when they experience skin irritations, or even punctures. Such a condition is called diabetic foot. Wearing tight shoes with such a condition can results in blisters or sores which, if ignored can result in serious infection.

Hammer toes

As a result of wearing tight and narrow shoes, the toes start to curl up and don t lie flat, making them appear like a claw. Usually the second toe is the most affected. The middle toe joint bends and starts rubbing up on the shoe causing pain. The toes become rigid and joints may be permanently dislocated.

Heel spurs

When the underside of the heel bone starts to have a growth, which later gets calcified, it results in heel spurs. They are associated with muscles that run along the length of the foot and connect the heel to the ball of the foot. The heel spur can extend up to half an inch and can cause severe heel pain. Know more about the possible causes of heel pain.

Ingrown nails

In this condition the toe nails start digging into the toe and causes severe pain. The condition results mostly due the downward pressure exerted by shoes. The condition can be worsened when infected with fungus and improper nail trimming also adds to the woes of ingrown nails. Here are some natural remedies to treat the fungal infection in the nails.


Also called stone bruise, metatarsalgia is any painful condition which affects the front (metatarsal) region of the foot. Usually the ball of the foot is most affected wherein it becomes inflamed and painful. Wearing tight shoes along with excessive jumping and running can result in metatarsalgia too. You can also read about how high heels ruin your feet.

Some feet facts you didn t know about

  • Between 75% and 80% of the adult population have some form of foot problem.
  • There are 44 million working days lost each year to back pain and women having approximately four times as many foot problems as men; a contributing factor is the wearing of high heel shoes.
  • An American study called If the shoe fits, wear it found that nine out of ten women wear shoes that are too small and, after the age of 60, some 70% of women will have osteoarthiritis problems in their feet. As you get older, your feet tend to spread, but few women get them measured after the age of 20. Foot problems most commonly appear in the 40s, 50s, and 60s following decades of persevering with poorly fitting footwear. If social expectations of women's appearance and the sort of shoes that are 'acceptably' changed, then there would be far fewer foot problems. You may also like to read Top 5 bad postures that can affect your health.

All these conditions can become extremely painful if ignored. Shoes should be purchased keeping these conditions and facts in mind. These conditions can be easily managed by maintaining proper hygiene and wearing comfortable, good quality and broader shoes. You may also like to read about pedicure basics to keep your feet happy.

Image source: Getty Images

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Reference: The society of chiropodists & podiatrists, The college of podiatry

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