Foot Pain
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The Effects of Wearing Tight Shoes: Common Foot Issues

Putting on the wrong-sized shoes every day can lead to painful foot disorders and negatively impact your lifestyle. Here are the effects of wearing tight shoes.

Published on
September 16, 2022

People often end up choosing stylish or unique shoes over comfortable ones. Many purchase shoes without even knowing their correct shoe size. Research suggests that only 28% to 37% of people wear the right shoe size, and three out of five people wear the wrong size. 

You end up squeezing your foot into a smaller-sized shoe just because it looks good or is convenient to buy. But tight-fitting shoes lead to symptoms like foot pain, shoe bites, or blisters. 

No matter how good they look, ill-fitting shoes can result in foot problems. They increase your risk of developing painful foot deformities and disorders, which may require treatment or surgery.

Here’s everything you need to know about the effects of wearing tight shoes and how to protect your feet by choosing comfortable, breathable shoes.

5 Consequences of Tight-Fitting Shoes

Tight-fitting shoes can lead to the following foot problems:

Peripheral Neuropathy

Tight, uncomfortable shoes put extra pressure on your foot nerves, which can cause peripheral neuropathy. It is a painful condition resulting from damage to the peripheral nerves in your feet. Its symptoms include pain and weakness in the feet. You may also feel numbness or pins-and-needles sensations. If you have peripheral neuropathy and continue to wear tight shoes, symptoms may worsen.

In older adults, peripheral neuropathy is associated with diabetes, known as diabetic neuropathy. People with diabetes are prone to nerve damage in the foot. The damage can result in loss of sensation, where people can’t feel irritation, scratches, or cuts. In such cases, wearing tight shoes can lead to other foot issues like sores or blisters. Open sores can cause severe infection if left untreated and may lead to amputation.

If you have diabetes and wear poorly fitting shoes, your symptoms may worsen. Check your feet regularly for pain, blisters, sores, scratches, or cuts.

Development of Foot Corns

Wearing the wrong shoes can put extra pressure on the skin of your foot. Due to continuous friction between the shoe and the skin, the skin forms hardened layers to protect itself. The hardened skin is called a callus. A thick, small, and deep callus on your toes or feet is called foot corn. 

They appear as dry, hard, raised bumps of skin. The presence of corns may make the surrounding area painful and tender. They are treated by applying a foam pad over them to relieve pressure. Wear well-fitting, breathable shoes to prevent them.

Painful Blisters

An ill-fitting shoe constantly rubs against the skin on your toes, heels, or soles and causes friction. Fluid starts to build up under the upper layer of skin to protect the chafed area, forming a blister. Blisters vary in size from person to person and can be painful. 

They can also develop on your feet due to pressure. If you walk or stand for long hours a day, you are more likely to get painful blisters on your feet. To treat them, clean and cover them loosely with a bandage. Also, use padding when wearing your shoes. Avoid bursting or popping them because it can cause infection.

Foot Disorders or Lesser Toe Deformity

Studies show a link between tight shoes and foot problems like lesser toe deformity. Lesser toe deformity is a painful condition that affects your toe joints and results in a deformity or a structural change in your toes. Several things can cause it, but one of the main issues is wearing tight shoes for a long time.

The most common types of lesser toe deformity are:

  • Hammertoe: A bend in the middle joint of the toe, causing the toe to curl up
  • Mallet toe: A bend in the first joint nearest to your toenail
  • Claw toe: Bends in the middle and last joints in the toe, forcing the toe’s tip to press downward
  • Curly or crossover toe: A toe curls toward or over another toe

Tight or narrow shoes that don’t contour the shape of your foot can worsen existing foot disorders. They can add pressure to the irregular-shaped bones of your foot and cause more pain.

Some foot deformities can be treated using strapping techniques and applying hammer-toe pads. You can also wear wider shoes and toe splints and apply ice to the toe. If these methods don’t work, you may have to undergo surgery.

Ingrown Toenails

Tight shoes with a narrow toe box leave no room for your toes and put pressure on them. They can cause the edge of your toenail to grow into your skin, forming ingrown nails. 

Ingrown toenails can occur on all toes but are commonly seen on the big toe. They can cause redness and infection in the skin around the nail. You can prevent them by wearing wider, breathable shoes with enough space for your toes and not cutting your nails too short.

How To Find the Right Shoe Fit

Here are eight tips for finding the right shoe fit for you:

  1. Wrong shoes can lead to painful foot deformities. Avoid buying shoes that don’t fit. 
  1. Ask the salesperson to measure the length and width of your feet before buying shoes.
  1. When you try on a shoe, make sure there’s enough space for your toes. They shouldn’t feel cramped, pinched, or pushed over each other. 
  1. Check the shape and depth of the toe box. If you have foot problems, opt for a deep toe box. Also, a square or round toe box is better than a narrow, pointed, or curved one.
  1. Shoes with removable insoles are better. You can add orthotic or cushioned insoles if required.
  1. Shoes without an attached tongue have a better fit and allow the addition of extra insoles.
  1. Don’t rush through shoe shopping. Try different types of shoes to see what fits best and ask about the return policy before purchasing.
  1. If you have foot problems, visit specialty shoe stores for orthotics and orthopedic shoes.

Prioritize Your Foot Health With Flexible Shoes and Custom Orthotics

Proper fitting shoes are important to keeping your feet healthy and avoiding the ill effects of wearing tight shoes. So, take your time to buy shoes that fit properly because comfort is more important than style. To help with existing foot problems and prevent new ones, you can add orthotics, including insoles or foot pads, to your shoes. 

If you’re looking for orthotics to make your shoes more comfortable, The Toe Bro is here to help. We offer customized orthotics to match your style and comfort and keep foot problems at bay. With athletic, casual, and dress-style orthotics, we take care of your foot health needs.

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7 Foot Care Tips for Better Foot Health

Your feet work hard. They take several thousand steps a day to get you from point A to point B — all while bearing the weight of your body. You stand on them a long time and put them into shoes that may not be the best fit. Unfortunately, these conditions can eventually cause a range of foot problems. So how can you take care of your feet and avoid chronic foot issues? This article will cover seven excellent foot care tips to keep your feet healthy.

Foot Care Tips To Keep Your Feet Healthy

It's important to know how to take care of your feet to keep them healthy for years to come. You can implement these seven tips to build a good foot care routine and avoid foot issues.

1. Avoid Wearing Tight Shoes

Shoe fit is very important to your foot health. 

Tight shoes restrict your blood flow, causing poor circulation that damages your feet in the long run. They may also cause foot pain that could become chronic. 

Over time, you may notice calluses, blisters, ingrown toenails, and corns on your feet. They may even deform your feet with conditions like hammertoes and bunions.

2. Wear Shoes With Arch Support

Once you've got comfortable shoes that fit, you need to make sure your arch is adequately supported. Your arch does it all — it supports your body weight, propels you forward when you move, and absorbs shock anytime your foot hits the ground. Over time, your arch can become strained or weakened from the stress.

Arch supports keep your arch in good condition because they:

  • Distribute pressure evenly
  • Support the lower body
  • Help with alignment
  • Prevent arch trauma
  • Provide balance and stability
  • Prevent and lessen foot pain

So really, everyone can benefit from arch supports. Look for shoe brands that are known for providing good arch support. You may benefit from a custom shoe insert if you have shoes that fit well but don't provide enough arch support.

Also, try to avoid wearing flats and flip-flops every day. Although they are comfortable, they don't support your arch enough and may lead to a foot injury down the line.

3. Keep Your Feet Clean and Mostly Dry

Feet often sweat throughout the day, providing a perfect breeding ground for harmful fungi. So pay special attention to your feet when you shower or bathe. Good foot hygiene goes a long way toward eliminating foot odor. 

Be careful! You don't want to soak your feet in hot water or leave them in the water for too long. This may cause dry skin, which leads to skin irritation and flaking. 

After you clean your feet thoroughly, be sure to dry them. Don't be shy — get in between your toes to prevent fungal infections like athlete's foot.

4. Inspect Regularly for Foot Ailments

Practicing a good foot care routine allows you to catch any potential issues before they arise. Inspect your feet for any changes daily, and look out for any sores, cuts, swelling, or infected toenails.

Use antiseptic and healing creams if you notice any cuts, and go to the podiatrist immediately if you have unexpected swelling or infected toenails. 

After all, prevention is always the best cure.

5. Use Nail Clippers Correctly

We may tend to use nail clippers to clip and shape our toenails. But this can cause damage to the tender skin of your nail bed. 

It's important to use nail clippers correctly. Make sure they're stainless steel, so the blades stay sharp for longer. A dull blade is more dangerous than a sharp one. 

Use the nail clippers only to trim the toenail straight across. You then want to use a nail file or emery board to gently smooth and round the corners. 

You can also use the nail file or emery board to push your cuticles back. However, you want to avoid cutting them, so they don't split or bleed.

6. Use Moisturizing Cream at Night

Chronic dry skin can cause skin irritation and flakiness. To avoid this, use moisturizing cream every night right after you dry your feet off. 

You can use creams, lotions, or even petroleum jelly. These are all nourishing emollients that sink into the skin and create a barrier to protect it. Your feet will be noticeably softer and well-hydrated. 

You can even give your feet a gentle massage as you apply your moisturizer, which can help stretch the tendons and contribute to your foot's muscular health. 

Afterward, you can put on socks or wrap your feet in plastic wrap for at least an hour for better lotion absorption, especially if you have dry skin.

But don't put any moisturizer between your toes to prevent a fungal or bacterial infection. Remember, you want to keep that area dry.

7. Don't Perform DIY Surgery on Ingrown Nails

We all know that ingrown toenails are annoying and even downright painful, and it's tempting to do a little DIY surgery to get rid of them. However, this is dangerous. 

Many people dig out ingrown nails with nail clippers or use floss to "splint" the toenail. These home remedies create a wide opening for harmful bacteria to get into the skin and develop into a nasty infection.

Go see your podiatrist instead. They are experts in all things feet and will safely get rid of your ingrown toenail in sanitary conditions. They can also prevent ingrown nails from regrowing and causing issues in the future.

Schedule Periodic Foot Exams and Invest in Advanced Foot Products

It's important to practice proper foot care. This includes wearing comfortable shoes, practicing good foot hygiene, and using the proper tools and creams.

You also want to visit your podiatrist for periodic foot exams to prevent the development of foot problems. They can also improve your foot health by performing procedures like ingrown toenail removal. These steps will ensure that your feet stay healthy and happy for many years.

Make sure you use products made for your feet. Here at The Toe Bro, we know how important it is for you to take care of your feet. That's why we provide high-quality advanced foot products to tackle and prevent a host of foot problems afflicting people today. Feel free to visit our website and add products to your routine today. You won't regret investing in your foot health.

Your Guide to Professional Toenail Clippers

Whether giving yourself a full-on pedicure or just a regular trim, you’ll likely find that professional toenail clippers are the optimal choice for good toenail hygiene. Regularly clipping your toenails abides by universal beauty standards, and doing so comes with some health benefits. Properly cut toenails prevent less dirt and bacteria from collecting under the nails, leading to less nail breakage and splitting. In addition, good toenail hygiene typically reduces the risk of ingrown toenails or other painful issues.  

However, the technique in cutting toenails is not quite as simple as it seems, and having the right tools can make all the difference. Therefore, it’s important to know what elements to look for while shopping for quality professional nail clippers. 

What Makes Quality Professional Toenail Clippers?

It’s easy to find a variety of nail clippers in almost any convenience store or online. But with so many choices, how do you know which one is right for you? Making that decision is much easier once you know the quality elements that make up the best toenail clippers.

1. Sharp Blades With a Curve

Many people may trim their nail edge to end up with a rounded shape, which is typically the method with low-quality curved blades. Yet, many podiatrists and nail technicians agree that the best way to cut your toenails is straight across. Cutting your toenails straight helps ensure that your nails grow upward, and it likely reduces ingrown toenails, fungal infections, and toenail thickness. 

Select professional nail clippers with a curved, sharp edge and a fine tip to achieve the cleanest straight edge for your toenails. Despite the curved edge, these types of podiatry tools can allow you more hand control and precision over cutting your nails straight. 

2. Surgical Grade Stainless Steel

Surgical grade stainless steel is an iron-based metal commonly used in hospitals and clinics. Unlike standard stainless steel, quality surgical grade steel proves to be the strongest during medical procedures and resistant to corrosion. Furthermore, tools with little corrosion also mean lower risk of inflicting damage or attracting bacteria, which is particularly beneficial for medical use. 

For optimum strength and durability that will prove effective for a long service life, look for surgical-grade stainless steel toenail clippers. 

3. Strong Leaf Spring

If you happen to have thick toenails that are hard to cut, look for clippers with a strong leaf spring. Strong leaf springs offers strength and leverage that can cut through even the of thickest nails without splitting the nail bed or creating other damage. 

Consider a safe-to-use professional nail nipper that incorporates a double spring for effective cutting thick nails. Nail nippers may look a little more intimidating than traditional toenail clippers, but they are the best tool for flexibility, smoothness, and overall ease. 

Remember that it’s best to first consult with your doctor for the best method of cutting if your thickened toenails are unsafe or too painful to cut on your own 

4. Ergonomic Handle with Firm Grip

Toenail clippers with an ergonomic grip are designed for comfort and efficiency, which is why it’s often highly praised by podiatrists and nail technicians. Solid grip strength allows you more leverage over your cutting, which reduces the risks of slipping and accidents. 

5. Quality With Long Lasting Use

Top quality often goes hand in hand with long-lasting use. The type of the steel will determine longevity, which is why surgical-grade stainless steel is a top choice for professional toenail clippers. Moreover, there are different coatings that add a safeguard to the surgical steel. For example, a diamond dust coating will promote a tool’s endurance. So when searching for the best toenail clippers, pay attention for any additional steel coatings. 

How Much Should Professional Toenail Clippers Cost?

Many retail stores sell standard toenail clippers for affordable prices, but these clippers typically have weak steel that easily rusts, loses grip, or dulls blades. Therefore, cheap toenail clippers may prove to be more damaging than effective. It’s worth investing in quality clippers to avoid additional costs if you run into toenail hygiene problems down the road.  

Professional toenail clippers typically range from $20 to $50, but the price depends on the type of tool you need and any supplements. Consider a professional foot care kit for a more cost-effective purchase if you require multiple toenail tools.   

Pick the Perfect Tool for Your Toes

Selecting the right podiatrist-recommended toenail clipper comes with understanding these necessary quality factors. However, it’s a good idea to take note of the current condition of your toenails while you research. Are they thick? Are they small or large? Do they easily break? Are they prone to ingrown nails or infections? 

Identifying your nail type can also help you determine the following:

  • Clipper Size. A larger clipper size is best for toenails as it offers more control for larger nails, whereas smaller nail clippers work better for fingernails. Consider storing both sizes in your home. 
  • Clipper strength. Remember that a strong leaf spring or a double spring can help safely cut thick nails without damage.
  • Curvature. A curved blade will likely help you cut straight across with more precision and comfort. 
  • Additional tools. Nail files and curettes are helpful if you have issues with nail thickness or ingrown toenails.

Toenail health can vary from person to person, which is why podiatrists keep a variety of tools to treat their patients’ natural nails. Of course, there’s no reason why you can’t do the same for yourself at home, too. 

The Toe Bro’s professional nail nipper is the ideal tool for your toenail hygiene, combining all the qualities of the tools you’d find in any podiatry office: 

  • Curved, sharp, and fine-tipped blade
  • Superior grip ability
  • Surgical-grade stainless steel
  • Safe to sterilize

Improve and maintain optimal toenail health with the professional, high-quality foot care products The Toe Bro can offer.

Ingrown Toenail: Symptoms and Treatment Options

Are you having pain in one of your toes near the nail bed? If so, you may have an ingrown toenail. We all have heard how annoying and painful they can be.

But exactly what is an ingrown toenail, and is there anything you can do to fix it? In this article, we'll discuss the symptoms of an ingrown nail. We'll also look at some ways to prevent and treat it.

What's an Ingrown Toenail?

Ingrown toenails occur when the side or corner of a nail grows into the soft flesh of your toe's nail bed. They may also occur when the skin on the side of the nail grows over the nail edge. They dig into the flesh, causing irritation over time.

Who can get an ingrown nail? 

It is a common condition, so anyone who does not take care of their feet properly is at risk of getting it. Ingrown toenails can be caused by external factors such as:

  • Shoes that are too tight
  • Improper nail trimming 
  • Excessive perspiration
  • Toenail injury

However, adolescents and people with diabetes or other medical conditions that cause poor blood circulation in the feet are at a greater risk of having ingrown toenails.

Symptoms of an Ingrown Nail

Some common symptoms of ingrown nails include:

  • Inflamed skin
  • Tenderness and pain
  • Swelling

You may even get a nail root infection (paronychia). This occurs when a piece of nail cuts into the skin and leaves an opening for harmful bacteria to get into the skin. It most often occurs as severe swelling and pain at the nail root. If left untreated, infections can become severe.

So how can you treat ingrown toenails?

Ingrown Toenail Treatment Options

It's important to know how to treat an ingrown toenail so you can avoid harmful complications. Thankfully, there are some effective treatment options for your ingrown nail.

Try at Home Foot Care Remedies

While you don't want to risk infection by pulling out ingrown nails yourself, there are some preventive home remedies you can try to treat them.

Soak your affected foot in warm water 3-4 times a day. This will keep your nail and the surrounding skin soft and hydrated so the nail doesn't dig into the skin too firmly.

You may also make packing at home by gently lifting the nail tip and inserting cotton between your skin and the nail.

If your ingrown nail doesn't get better within two to three days after you start these remedies, you need to visit your podiatrist.

Visit a Foot Specialist

A doctor crossing his arms and holding a stethoscope

If you have a severely painful ingrown nail or an ingrown toenail infection, it may be best to visit your foot specialist for ingrown toenail treatment.

The podiatrist will probably prescribe oral antibiotics to fight the harmful bacteria. 

You may need nail surgery to partially or completely remove the infected nail. The doctor may also have to remove a small portion of the nail bed, some of the surrounding soft tissue, and a portion of the growth center. 

This may sound painful, but you will be numbed and the procedure is straightforward. Nail surgery will eliminate the nail edge from growing inward and cutting into the flesh as your toenail regrows forward.

Whatever your podiatrist recommends, it is best to follow their medical advice.  

Techniques for Ingrown Toenail Prevention

You should do your best to prevent the growth of ingrown toenails so you can spare yourself the pain and hassle of treating them. There are several methods you can use to prevent ingrown toenails from growing.

Trim Toenails Correctly

Close-up of nail clippers on a grey background

One of the best ways to prevent an ingrown toenail is through a good foot care routine. 

Curved toenails may look attractive, but they are not good for your toes and increase your risk of getting an ingrown nail. 

Instead of curving the nails to match the shape of your toe, you want to use a nail clipper to trim them straight across. You can then use an emery board or nail file to gently round the corners. 

You also want to make sure the toenails aren't too long or too short. If they're too long, there's a high risk they will begin to curl in and dig into the skin. If they're too short, pressure from your shoes may cause a nail to start growing into the tissue. 

It's best to trim your toenails so they're even with the tips of your toes. This will keep them from curling or being pressed into the soft tissue of your nail bed.

Avoid Tight Fitting Shoes

Comfy shoes laying down on a beige carpet

Tight-fitting shoes are harmful to your feet in several ways, and one of the effects is ingrown toenails. Tight shoes pinch your toes and place too much pressure on them, causing your nails to grow into soft tissue. 

Make sure you wear comfortable shoes that fit properly. 

Most people have one foot that's bigger than the other, so use your biggest foot as the measuring standard for your shoes. They should fit your heel, ball of your foot, and top of your toes comfortably without too much pressure.

A good rule of thumb is to have a fourth of an inch of space between the top and front of your toes and the shoe. This should be enough for you to fit a finger through.

Open-toed shoes are another great option to eliminate the risk of pressure, pinching, or excessive perspiration. But make sure you wear protective shoes like steel-toed boots or sneakers if you're doing activities that may injure your toes.

Keep Your Toes Looking and Feeling Their Best

Close-up of a woman's red nails

Ingrown toenails can be unsightly and painful. Proper foot health and a good foot care routine are the best preventers of ingrown toenails. 

So make sure you trim your toenails properly, wear comfortable shoes, use safe home remedies, and visit a foot specialist if you notice an ingrown nail. Your feet will look and feel their best.

Using tools and materials that keep the nails and skin healthy is another important part of foot care. Here at The Toe Bro, we offer products specially designed to prevent and treat symptoms of common foot conditions. Take a look around our website to enhance your foot care routine today. You'll enjoy healthy, good-looking feet for years to come.