Wearing the Wrong Shoes Can Cause These Common Foot Problems


Wearing the Wrong Shoes May Cause One of These Common Foot Problems

You don't have to have a foot injury to have a foot problem. Some of these foot issues are more conditions than injuries. But they all have a common thread. What's that, you ask? They all may be caused by wearing improper or ill-fitting footwear.

Let's take a look at some common foot problems that can be caused (or exacerbated) by wearing shoes that don't fit correctly.


If you have feet (most of us do) and you are active (most of us are), then you've had blisters. Blisters happen when you walk or stand for a long period of time with sweaty feet. The friction of feet rubbing against shoe causes pockets of fluid to develop.

Blisters can be annoying and painful. Luckily, they often go away without treatment— after you properly rest your foot.

Shoes that don't fit or aren't broken in can cause blisters, so if you are breaking in a new pair, use a band-aid to cover the blister while you have your shoes on. This may prevent the blister from getting worse.

If you want to "pop" or drain the blister yourself, make sure to keep it clean and sterile while you do it.

How to Avoid Blisters: Break in your shoes gradually. Avoid shoes that don't fit (too loose or too tight). Avoid walking around in wet shoes.

Athlete’s foot

You've seen the scaaaaary commericals.




Athlete's foot is all those things. Simply put, it's really dang annoying.

Athlete's foot happens when our feet catch a fungus from a wet environment. Public pools and showers are prime breeding grounds for this annoying condition.

To treat athletes foot, head over to the drugstore and grab some over the counter treatment. If it doesn't clear up, you can get something stronger with a doctor's prescription.

How to avoid athletes foot: In this case, the cause isn't wearing improper footwear. It's wearing no footwear. Wear rubber sandals when you shower or walk around in a public locker room!



Ah, bunions. We've talked about this topic many times. A bunion is a bump on your big toe that causes pain and inflammation. It can be a hereditary feature or a result of shoes that don't fit properly. High-heeled shoes are a major culprit here. Ladies, I'm looking at you! Don't sacrifice your health or comfort for fashion's sake.

How to avoid bunions: Avoid high-heels and shoes that put your foot into uncomfortable positions.


Corns are circles of skin that have become thickened after repeated blisters. With corns, there is the chance of additional irritation over time. But they are not always painful.

How to avoid corns: Corns are sometimes associated with other conditions like bunions. Once again, wearing the proper footwear will go a long way to avoiding corns.

Plantar fasciitis

Pain in the middle of your foot or the bottom of the heel can be the result of a condition called Plantar Fasciitis. In this case, your plantar fascia (ligament) is strained. This condition usually does not need surgery and can be eased by using medication or icing it. Orthotics may also do the trick.

How to Avoid Plantar Fasciitis: This condition may be caused by undue strain upon the foot. Wearing the wrong footwear, being overweight, or putting too much pressure upon the foot in general may cause it. Making the appropriate footwear (and lifestyle) adjustment can help ease the pain.


hammer toe

Mallet toe (hammer toe) is a toe that is curved downward instead of outward. This condition is sometimes genetic, or a result of other foot problems. It's also on the list of conditions caused or worsened by poor footwear choices.

How to Avoid Hammer Toe: Wear the right footwear and consider using inserts or foot cushions.


This condition is also known as a "stone bruise". A stone bruise may make the ball of your fit tingle or feel numb. Kind of like having a pebble stuck in the front of your shoe. Get it?

How to avoid metatarsalgia: Wear shoes that fit right. You may relieve some of the symptoms by icing or with medication.

The Takeaway - Choose Footwear Wisely!


I've beaten this horse to death, but I want to stress again the importance of choosing shoes that fit well!

A couple of tips:

  • Have both feet measured, not just one foot

  • Walk around in shoes before you purchase them

  • If you buy shoes online and feel like the fit is off, send them back

Your feet deserve to be taken care of. Find the right set of shoes so you don't have to come see me down the line!

Dr. JP Elton