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Effects of Wearing Ill-Fitting Shoes

Could you imagine that once upon a time humans simply walked around barefooted? Well maybe the world was a whole lot colder back then but still, the temperature and terrain would still affect your feet. Nowadays though you can’t even walk a hundred meters without burning your feet in the heat, that’s why footwear was created in the first place.

Although these days, health is not the first thing that comes to mind as we’re choosing our footwear, that’s supposed to be the first one. Poorly designed footwear or shoes that don’t fit properly could cause a number of short and long-term health problems that affect various parts of our bodies. So today we’ll talk about the effects.

Short-term problems

Wearing ill-fitted shoes could cause damage to your feet almost immediately and below we have some common conditions that include:


Corns are an area of hard, dead skin that occurs on a bony prominence, for example, a joint. Often corns are caused by prolonged pressure to said are and this could happen from ill-fitting shoes.

If your shoes are too loose, it’ll allow your feet to slide and rub but it could also be shoe designs that place excessive pressure on a certain area that are most likely to cause corns.

Nail problems

Nail and fungal problems are extremely common among those that wear ill-fitting shoes. Ingrown toenails happen when the sides of the nail pierce the surrounding skin, it’s a nuisance and also painful that this happens when your shoes are too tight.

Furthermore, ingrown toenails and fungal infections are not only unappealing – causing discoloration and brittleness – but it could also affect your self-esteem and making you hide it more which could lead the infection to spread.

Athlete’s foot

This one particular fungal problem is caused by a dermatophyte, a fungal species living on the skin. Causing intense itching, inflammation and skin flaking. Additionally, it is very unsightly, uncomfortable and extremely contagious.

This particular problem could be spread and caught whilst walking barefoot on an area where someone who’s infected walked barefoot before. Good foot hygiene and the use of an antifungal cream will help and it is very important to treat this condition before it spreads to your toenails.

Long-term problems

Wearing ill-fitting shoes for a long amount of time is really bad. And further down the line, it’ll cause permanent damage to your body. I said body because it’s not limited to just your feet and the conditions could include:

Collapsed arches

This condition is more commonly known as flat feet. It’s a term used to describe the condition of one’s feet which have low to no arches, and as a consequence would most of the time lay flat against the ground.

Wearing shoes that have no heels to offer support to those that have tight calf muscles and Achilles tendon could lead to strain in the ligament that supports the arch. Prolonged strain to these soft tissue structures would damage it and lowers the arches with consequent pain in the arch and heel area.

Back pain

There are a lot of potential problems that might be caused by wearing ill-fitting or improper footwear over a prolonged period of time, and one of the most significant footwear is high heels. And this one, in particular, could also affect your back.

Be sure that you stick to low-heeled shoes whenever possible. But if you have to wear high heels then make sure you pick ones that are well-made, but even with that you still don’t want to wear them for too long.

Joint pain

When you wear ill-fitting shoes, it won’t support your feet properly, and when it doesn’t support your feet, your feet can’t provide adequate support for your body weight. This will ultimately cause all sorts of joint problems such as knee pain and arthritis.

Other than that, ill-fitting footwear could also lead to deformities in your feet such as bunions and bony lip development around the larger foot joints.

So those are some of the short and long-term effects of wearing ill-fitting shoes. To make sure that you don’t get any of those please choose shoes that fit you well and support your feet at the same time. If you have to wear ill-fitting or shoes that don’t support your feet, make sure you don’t wear them frequently or for a long amount of time.

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