A 2018 study found that 65 percent of children are walking around in ill-fitting shoes. When you consider that wearing shoes that are too small or too large can lead to serious health issues, some of which last a lifetime, this study’s findings are disturbing.
The Effects of Ill-Fitting Shoes
There are numerous factors that influence how a child’s foot develops. These factors include gender, age, physical activity level and the child’s body mass index (BMI). When a child wears a pair of shoes that fit properly, his or her feet are protected from sustaining injuries while walking across different ground textures (e.g., rocks, grass, concrete, etc.) as well as from temperature variances (e.g., hot pavement during the summer months, frozen ground during winter, etc.).
7 Health Issues Resulting from Wearing Ill-Fitting Shoes
- Ingrown Toenails
When a shoe is too tight, the pressure is placed on the corners of the toes. This pressure can cause the toenail to grow into the flesh, which causes inflammation and pain. Sometimes, the ingrown toenail needs to be addressed at the doctor’s office.
- Minor Foot Problems
Wearing shoes that are too small for a lengthy period of time can cause blisters to develop. In addition, sore spots, reddened skin and cuts are possible.
- Injuries from Frequent Falls
When shoes are too tight or too loose, the risk of tripping and falling increases. Therefore, the likelihood of the child sustaining some type of injury rises.
- Joint Pain or Arthritis
Shoes that fit incorrectly do not provide an adequate amount of support, this lack of support could increase the potential of the individual developing joint pain and/or arthritis later in life: The joints that are frequently affected include the knees, hips, feet and/or ankles.
- Foot Deformities
When a shoe is too tight, the shoe materials, which are neither bendable nor breathable, frequently rub against the foot. As time passes, bunions, calluses, hammertoes and corns may develop.
Wearing painful, uncomfortable shoes while dealing with frequent trips and falls, can lead to an individual becoming anxious. This anxiousness and frequent falling could negatively affect the child’s self-esteem as well as his or her quality of life.
- Nerve damage
Consistently wearing tight-fitting shoes repeatedly places excess stress on the foot, which puts additional pressure on the nerves. Once nerve damage occurs in the feet, several different sensations result; These sensations include tingling, numbness, pain and muscle weakness in the foot/feet.
If you or your child is experiencing a foot problem, Dr. Jeffery LaMour can help. To schedule an appointment, contact the office today at 512-451-3668. Dr. LaMour’s Austin, Texas, office is located at 8015 Shoal Creek Boulevard, Suite 119.